Local dreamscape band GABI recently released their latest album, Sea Glass, a lo-fi soundtrack with sensitive rock and indie vibes. Originally from Pheonix, Arizona, Gabi Manning leads the project with her hazy vocals and sweet lyrics. GABI has become increasingly popular after the release of their first album, Sensitive Baby, and since then, Chill Mega Chill Records has picked them up. This New Years’ Eve, GABI plays at Kilby with Lady Teeth, Spooky Snack and Rich Girlz, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Interestingly, Manning found her love of music through her first love: skateboarding. “What drew me to [skating] was the mystery of how you get the board to stick to your feet,” she says. “I started skating when I was about 10 or 11. Once you start skating and you really get into it, you will always look at the world differently.” Unfortunately, two major injuries led to a loss of rotation in her ankle, making skating incredibly difficult—but even with this setback, Manning presses on with her love for skating.
During her recovery, she realized that shooting for the stars wasn’t completely out of her future. Instead of using skateboarding as her outlet, Manning picked up her sister’s neglected guitar and taught herself how to play. “There is something so beautiful and so special [about skating],” she says. “If you messed up a trick, it was no one’s fault but yours. You had to put in all the time individually, and it was up to you whether or not you learned it or landed it. It’s the same with music.” Manning began to throw her emotions, energy and time into her music, even after recovery. “I’m skating more now than I have in the last two or three years,” she says. “It helps me get away from music. Sometimes I spend too much time in music, and I want another outlet—I can go to skating, not take it seriously and not overly push myself. I can just enjoy the beauty of that art form.”
Manning began making music and writing lyrics during her recovery as well. She began writing poetry and adding synth, guitar and bass to her poems, eventually adding in vocals. “I started playing shows back home in Pheonix,” she says, “but I was shy about it. I became friends with Tyler Broderick of Diners. He booked my first real show at this venue called Funny World—a house that this old dude bought and turned into an artists’ place.” After her first show, Manning’s confidence built, especially once she met fans. “All the fans we’ve met on tour and in Salt Lake are so nice,” she says. “That’s why I’m doing it. It’s awesome to meet people.”
GABI’s latest album, Sea Glass, is about small moments that took place between three or five days. The lyrics are intimate and poetic, filled with visual imagery of small, specific gestures. It’s longer and more sweet than their previous album, Sensitive Baby, which encompasses Manning’s frustration after she left Pheonix. Sea Glass is an expanded album with bonus tracks. The song on this podcast is “Parking Lot Love”—the story of a couple who go out for ice cream and inevitably end up in a parking lot, ending the night on a sweet note.
GABI is tender, dreamy, and a strong female-fronted band. Check them out this New Years’ at Kilby, or view their music at gah-bee.bandcamp.com. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the handle @gabinfriends.
Thanks for listening to SLUG Mag Soundwaves.
- This podcast was created by SLUG Magazine and produced by Angela H. Brown and Secily Saunders
- Associate Producers: Alexander Ortega, Joshua Joye, John Ford, Kathy Zhou
- Executive Producer: Angela H. Brown
- Background music by GABI
- Soundwaves logo and art design by Nicholas Dowd
- Technical design by Kate Colgan
- Photo: Andrew Storer
SLUG Magazine’s mission is to provide an honest journalistic alternative to mainstream coverage of arts, music, events and lifestyle. SLUG adds value to lifestyle through community engagement. Available in print and digitally on SLUGmag.com.