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Album Review: gobbinjr - vom night

By Justin Cudahy, Contributor

[JMC Aggregate; 2016]

Rating: 8.5/10

Key Tracks: “manatee,” “vom night”

vom night is the newest EP released by Brooklyn native Emma Witmer, who performs under the name gobbinjr. This relatively short, but sweet, six-track EP clocks in at a little over 19 minutes, but gives listeners enough to be left satisfied. It’s child-like (though repetitive) melody, mixed in with synthesizer and cleverly thought out lyrics, proves to people that gobbinjr may just be a hidden gem.

ACRN was fortunate enough to ask Witmer some questions over Twitter this week in regards to her newly released EP. She gave a quick background to it all, stating “The EP is very personal and was definitely about my own feelings and experiences … it is a reflection of my own personality, so I guess I would encourage others to look at themselves with a critical but kind eye, to figure out how to be themselves but the best version of themselves.”

The lyrics in her songs definitely prove to be true, and it’s clear that gobbinjr put a lot of thought into it. Lines such as “No one wants to love someone whose never been loved before” (“vom night”) and “I feel creepy all the time // cause’ I like everybody more than they like me” (“firefly”) will make you want to stop and pause it just to think about it, since it is something that will home to a lot of people. The EP is full of lines like this that makes each song unique form one another. Unfortunately, this technique doesn’t work in every track. “perfect,” for example, is simply a two-minute song that repeats the same line (“I Just want to be perfect // Anything less is shameful”) using different voice effects.

Every song on the EP is catchy, and you’ll find yourself having a tough time resisting the urge to bop your head or tap on the desk to the music. There is a strong emphasis on piano in some form or another, with the use of keyboard, synthesizer or even organ at points. This ‘80s upbeat feel to the music clashes with modern techniques and sounds which work together very smoothly in many instances, specifically in “manatee” as well as the self-titled track, “vom night.” “I’m not a relatively big fan of ‘80s music,” the artist said. “I think the sound is really just because keyboards are how I can best express myself and I don’t want to limit myself to only using piano.”

There are very minor effects that are scattered throughout that separates the EP from being anything but normal. This includes 8-bit sound effects, long, drawn-out echoes at the end of each line, and even the use of dissonant chords which, although ugly sounding, have a purpose. This is all accompanied by Witmer’s sweet and melodic voice which can sometimes put you straight into a trance. That can quickly change though at times, especially in “undies,” where out of nowhere, she will begin to vocalize, throwing you off guard and making you wish she hadn’t done that.

Despite a few shaky aspects throughout the EP, vom night will leave you wanting more from gobbinjr. The rising artist has already planned out her next project, having already written and partially tracked some future music. She has assured that “[The] album contains the best songwriting I have done to date, so I’m very excited to see where this project can go with it.”

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