By Leigha Hougland
for the Salisbury Post
As a musician who’s only 20, Dylan Gilbert has earned a level of respect that is unusual for someone his age.
“I love to think that people are really enjoying what I am doing,” says Gilbert, describing the feeling of having his name well known across the region.
Gilbert will be playing at Escape the Daily Grind Saturday.
He was raised in a musical family, and as a result began writing and performing his own music at an early age. The Charlotte-based musician has toured the southeast heavily in the past two years and says that the experience has allowed his love for music to grow. His live performances range from upbeat solo shows, to performances that include a full band.
“Being alive is pretty inspiring,” says Gilbert, when asked where he finds inspiration. “That is cheese isn’t it?” he asks, laughing.
Gilbert’s passion is evident through his emotional performances. With pieces ranging from upbeat songs that express love and excitement, to slow ballads that reflect fears and worries, Gilbert’s music expresses a wide range of emotions that audiences of all ages can relate to.
Devoted to his fans, Gilbert makes it a point after each show to speak to as many people as he can. He will stay at a venue for a couple of hours if that’s what it takes to make sure he has met everyone.
When I first met Gilbert, his charisma was what I noticed. He shook my hand with confidence then proceeded to look me in the eye and thank me for coming to hear his music.
Gilbert has already released a couple of EPs and two full length albums. His most recent is “The Quiet Life.”
Gilbert began writing his latest album right after releasing his second album “The Artist and the Scientist.” He wrote close to 100 songs before he was able to narrow them down to a reasonable number of 14.
After beginning the recording process in March 2007, Gilbert knew that there was still a lot of work ahead of him.
Over the summer 2007 he continued to write giving him even more choices for his next CD. Gilbert then decided to go back to the recording studio and replace some of his previously recorded songs with new ones.
By December 2007 he was finished recording and mastering the album, and could now consider the release date.
“The Quiet Life”, was finally released on Feb. 12 of this year. Now Gilbert can put his focus back on his tour, through the southeast and give himself more time to breathe.
The second you pop the CD into the stereo you are struck with Gilbert’s maturity. While the songs still contain Gilbert’s unique style, the way the music is executed shows Gilbert’s growth as an artist.
The album begins with the title track, ‘The Quiet Life.” With this song Gilbert added a jazzy feel to his album by incorporating a saxophone to the musical ensemble. This sense of jazz gives an extra kick to the song.
While the melody and instrumental parts of the song create a mood of joy and excitement, the lyrics offer something to the contrary. This song is about the fear of becoming tired and not having a chance to relax. The contradiction between the music and lyrics requires the listener to pay close attention in order to grasp the true meaning.
Like his last album, his new album also contains many songs that speak of love. In the new album however, love isn’t described as all sunshine and rainbows.
This is especially evident in track four, “If You Leave Me.” The song not only features beautiful piano and guitar melodies, it also presents the heart-wrenching realities of losing love, with lyrics like: “If you leave me, you don’t have to say you’re sorry, or come back my way, I’ll be fine. I’ll catch a comet and make my descent into a black hole.”
While some songs speak to the pain of love and the fear of not having time, others speak to the incomparable joys of life.
One such song is, “Before my Egg Hatches” ó which is about the excitement that comes with being alive: “Think of all the future lovers, and all the smiling faces, all the planes and freeways of all the foreign places. How the sunlight feels when it falls upon my skin. All the tales that I can tell when I finish here.”
Offering both beautiful music and lyrics, anyone who appreciates music could enjoy listening to what I consider to be Gilbert’s masterpiece. The album allows everyone the opportunity to return to the quiet life, even if it is just for the time that it’s playing.
Leigha Hougland, a senior at Salisbury High School, is an intern for the Post
By Leigha Hougland