REVIEW: "sugarcoated," the debut EP from nashville's own gatlin
“My whole life I have been taught to not show how deep my feelings are because it scares people - especially as a woman. So most of the songs are about deep and very heavy topics, but I feel the need to only scratch the surface as not to scare or overwhelm other people. To sugarcoat them[…] It wasn’t until I wrote the last track on the EP, “Grown”, that I realized I didn’t have to do that anymore[…] My feelings are powerful.”
...wrote Gatlin in an Instagram post announcing her brand spankin’ new EP, Sugarcoated. You could say I was a casual Gatlin listener prior, but when “Talking to Myself” found its way to me back in the spring, I was in deep. I would listen to that one, single song on repeat for hours alone in my apartment. It came to me when I was living by myself for the first time, and it felt especially relevant. It was the first single released off of what would become the EP, a group of six songs that feel just as personal.
Rereading Gatlin’s words on Instagram just now, after spending the weekend sitting with the songs, I can see clearly her intentions coming through in the music. Not to say that I’ve never felt connected with any artist or any album ever before, but I feel so incredibly seen by Sugarcoated. It’s the musical equivalent of the feeling I got when I first watched Lady Bird, except cooler and much indier. She vocalizes fears so many women our age deal with so candidly and openly. Gatlin gets me.
“Grown” is the standout song on this EP for me (I have already cried to it in my car). It perfectly captures feeling little, feeling insignificant, wishing to feel like a grown-up, looking imposter syndrome right in the eye. Lightly she sings, “‘Cause I keep thinking ‘bout how I’m getting older / But I thought I’d be grown by now.” It’s a soft nudge and a, ‘hey, I feel that way too.’
Gatlin’s very quickly becoming one of my favorite artists, and she should be one of yours, too! Go give her EP Sugarcoated a listen now.