“High Heeled Shoes” by Stacy Gabel
Bright and sunny amid a winter that feels exceptionally cold and lonely, Stacy Gabel’s voice might be one of the more enjoyable aspects of December’s indie playlist I’ve heard. In her new single “High Heeled Shoes,” she puts her vocal front and center in the spotlight for what feels like her most verse-driven piece of material to debut so far, and although she’s an underground player through and through, she undeniably sounds like a mainstream pop songwriter in the best way possible in this most recent studio work. I had high expectations for her melodic output here, but she seamlessly meets them in “High Heeled Shoes.”
The acoustic guitar element definitely adds to the depth of the harmony in way that makes it irreplaceable in this mix, and I don’t think you could have got the same results with a piano or electric part at all. There’s something really sexy about the pairing of Gabel’s buoyant lead vocal and the folky sensibilities of an acoustic melody, but it’s not translating as Americana-tinged or even slightly pastoral in this setting. This hybrid is more sophisticatedly pop-centric, which is perhaps why she wears the look as well as she does in this all-new single.
If you weren’t listening to Stacy Gabel already, “High Heeled Shoes” is likely to not only get you interested in his work, but really the intriguing place that indie pop is at in the American underground at the moment. She’s rejecting some aesthetical boundaries here rather rebelliously, and if she chooses to experiment with a stripped-down instrumental fabric in the future I think she could really develop her sound in a unique and potentially lucrative manner. The mainstream is feeling more eclectic with the start of the 20’s, and hers could be just the right style to breakthrough in the next year.