Written by Noelle Simeon
When I first looked up Gigi Rowe, I saw her bright-colored wigs and comic book stylized website and expected much of the same from her debut, full-length album Laura. She has a Cyndi Lauper aesthetic, which isn’t accidental. Her website describes Gigi as “time-traveled in from the 80’s” and a “glamorous runaway.” Her last singles land on the bubble-gum, the dance-pop scene with “Run the Night,” “Got That,” and “Lollipops,” with the first two becoming hits in the Just Dance video game. She’s happy and bubbly and that perfect friend to have around for a fun time. Her upbeat nature seems to transcend her music, as she also has a children’s book and podcast, Wishes and Posy Flynn Sings!, respectively. She is keeping herself booked, busy and blessed.
Laura, though, is heartfelt, real, and connects directly to who Gigi is under the heart-shaped shades. Titled after her real name, Gigi explains, “I’m excited to welcome you into the world of Gigi Rowe by introducing you to Laura…back to the places where it all began.” Laura is the story of when her dreams were just wishes on the stars.
Six of the 12-track album are already released singles that showcase Laura‘s range.
“You, Me and the Stars,” “When the Time Comes,” and “Running from the Grave” are all muted, more acoustic versions of Gigi’s current dance-pop tunes. You can dance to them, but instead of a club scene, you feel like she’s singing to you around a firepit with all your closest friends.
Fitting perfectly into a Euphoria episode, “Lonely Together” has a sadness that begins with the first notes.
“Lips” is fun and sexy and shows the confidence of knowing what you want and not being afraid to say it.
Gigi remembers chasing the dream now lived in “I Don’t Wanna Be Saved,” “Color Outside the Lines,” and “I’ll Get Where I’m Going.” She is utterly herself, knows what path she wants to take, and is not swayed by outside voices.
The rest of the album is truly a delight. “Borrowed Time,” “Velvet,” and “Vintage Dream” are each their mood boards, ranging from whispered lyrics over slow synths to beautiful ballads.
Gigi surprised me in the best of ways with Laura. She sings with the hopefulness of youth but writes of her past with warmth and maturity. It is incredibly refreshing while also pleasantly familiar.
Laura is out on September 30th.