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Gates, "Bloom & Breathe"

I subscribe to Apple Music. One of the pleasures of having unlimited music available to stream is that I discover new songs, bands and albums via their Best of the Week playlist, which updates every Friday, I believe. One of the bands I discovered is a New Jersey-based rock group called Gates, who released a new album called Parallel Lives in June. I haven't focused as much as that, their sophomore album, as I have on their first LP, called Bloom & Breathe, which came out in 2015.

I described this album to a friend as a "throwback" to the early-to-mid-2000s of emo rock, although you would never confuse this band for New Found Glory or even the Used. Gates, in fact, reminds me more of one of my favorite bands, the now-defunct Anberlin, who completed their farewell tour in late 2015 (the timing is almost as if Anberlin was reborn as Gates). The main difference between them is their singers; they both have an affinity for soaring vocals that sacrifice intelligibility for emotion and expressiveness. Anberlin's Stephen Christian has an inimitable cadence that puts it a notch above Gates' singer, whose name is not easily discoverable via the Internet. Nevertheless, Gates is able to convey that ineffable center of pure, roiling emotion that lies in every one of us, regardless of age.

Bloom and Breathe is an album that I tend to listen to when I work. This is due to its post-rock origins; its instrumentation would not be out of place on a record by Explosions in the Sky. I'm not positive about the lyrics, as I have not read into them terribly closely, but they're besides the point: if you want aural catharsis on the double, Gates is a good place to start.

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