REVIEW: emerging artist Gilanares’ debut EP, ‘There’s Not Much to Know About Me’
Lately, I’ve been finding endless new talent every week on TikTok. The app has picked up on the fact I can’t stop scrolling through young musicians sitting in front of their phone camera and strumming on a guitar – and I’m grateful. Gilanares, who describes herself as an “emo Taylor Swift," is someone who caught my eye (or, more, my ear) a while back. Her voice has such a unique edge to it; it’s polished enough for pop but infused with a grunge-like ambience. It was this, and her incredible lyricism, that kept me constantly refreshing for updates on when I could finally listen to the complete versions of the verses she’d posted.
"There’s Not Much to Know About Me," the title of her debut EP (and a line taken from her song "Baby Hoop Earrings"), feels almost tongue-in-cheek from how complex and detailed Gilanares’ music really is. In just five songs, I feel like I already know so much about who she is as an artist, and I can’t wait to find out more.
The EP starts flawlessly with "Good Person," a song Gilanares posted back in December that hit an impressive 72.2K likes. Somehow, even the acoustic guitar manages to drip with angst as she sings “I still feel seventeen but maybe one day I’ll outgrow it”. It’s likely that relatability that has gained Gilanares such a following; everything she says in her music leaves you thinking “wow, someone put into words exactly how I’m feeling.”
Since her last release of the song "Snow on Halloween," the production of Gilanares’ music has improved immensely. Perhaps "Snow on Halloween" was put out as more of an acoustic demo, and it was enough of a well-written song to get away with it. On "There’s Not Much to Know About Me," Gilanares voice is crisp enough to hear the enunciation in her prose-like lyrics.
"Bad Role Models" is a clever commentary on the envy and toxicity of public figures. Behind the big-city feel of the piano and Gilanares’ desperation, crowds of screaming fans can be heard. I’m really loving these little additions to each song, such as the distorted sample from Bojack Horseman in previous track "Good Person." It adds another layer to the music, and to Gilanares’ trademark style. Sometimes it takes a few releases for an artist to really grow into their discography and create their own stamp, but the nineteen-year-old singer-songwriter has it nailed in her first EP.
“You’re an unfortunate tattoo / but oh, I can’t get rid of it / and I can’t get back my innocence”, Gilanares sings on "Let’s Call It Even," Baroque instrumentation swells throughout, reminiscent of something Lana Del Rey might produce, but with far more grounded story-telling.
The highlight of the EP for me is probably "888," a song about searching for some good news amongst the hopelessness. Atmospheric and moody, it’s something I can’t wait to listen to in the dead of night, staring at my ceiling in the dark or out at the city lights from the window.
Women writing thought-provokingly sad music are taking over the world right now, and Gilanares is well-deserving of being knighted as one too. Here’s hoping that this EP will bring her more recognition because I can really see something special in her artistry.
You can find Gilanares on TikTok and Instagram, and listen to the EP on all streaming services.
Caitlin Taff is a writer and Taylor Swift enthusiast from Sheffield, UK. Her love of writing was inspired by obsessing over Fall Out Boy's lyricism in her teens, and she spends most of her time in a nostalgic haze watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @caitlintxff.