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Success is never a guaranteed thing. No matter the task, it’s never promised that one will complete it on the first try. This doesn’t mean that it’s unlikely, but rather, it’s a logical expectation when the absolute random ways of the world and how things can play out are taken into consideration. With that being said, we like to think that success will arrive at some point along the way. Even if it takes a million tries, the eventual accomplishment proves that we are capable of getting it done. Unfortunately for Gallant, this self-serving moment doesn’t arrive for him on his latest body of work.
The singer’s Neptune EP presents eight elegant songs that float freely in the spacious night sky. On it, Gallant repeatedly comes up short in tying down a longtime partner for the tumultuous ride that is life. Whether it slips through his hands or flies by when he lets his guard down, he repeatedly plays from behind on Neptune in an attempt to gain ground and capture the very thing that’s escaped him too often.
As elusive as love can be, Gallant’s inability to experience the best of it is due to his faults. Blocking your shot can be extremely frustrating, especially when it occurs as a reflex, and the annoyance of it all only skyrockets when the stakes of said shot are realized. In what sounds like a file uprooted out of Usher’s early 2000s hard drive, Gallant confesses to his wrongs on “Comeback” with the hope that his exiting partner will do just that: return his now-prepared arms where he offers a much better experience for her. “I shouldn’t have ever listened to the demons,” he admits, adding, “You can come back / There’s no better time / I’ll leave on the lights.”
Gallant’s blunders continue with “Julie.” The free-floating track, which could very well be classified as “singing in the rain” music at some points, presents the singer as a klutz whenever love comes his way. Despite these neverending mistakes, he still finds himself in short-lived moments of intimacy with a partner who is very much skeptical about his abilities to not ruin yet another chance with her. While her hesitation is still present, she seems a bit more open to a second stab at it than the partner she sings about on “No More Tries.” Back by a guest appearance from VanJess, who play the role of his exhausted companion, Gallant’s journey towards a fulfilling love is cut short by their command to turn around and take him and his inconsistencies to someone else. “Even if we try / It would only end up causing us more pain,” they sing. “’Cause your love was enough for me until / There was nothing left for both of us to lose.”
It’d be criminal to paint a picture of Gallant’s perceived loneliness as something of his own doing. The singer stumbles across individuals who ruin the few moments he has it together. Take “Dynamite” with Brandy, for example, Gallant deals with a woman who’s both insecure and blinded by the fame and money that surrounds her. Blowing up their lives to the most basic element would be nice but it’s highly unrealistic, something he accepts in the song. Gallant even deals with his frustrations on “Scars.” The uptempo, dance-friendly track is enwrapped with both the physical and emotional pain that the singer carries on his shoulders. He balances nonchalance with discontent with a track that ultimately finds him moving one to the next awaiting soul who is hopefully ready for what he has to offer.
Gallant will eventually figure it out, or hey, maybe he won’t. It’s all up to the singer to tie his laces and finally stop tripping over himself on this winding road towards companionship. At least, in that case, he’ll limit his failures to outside circumstances like inapt companions or just sheer bad luck. Despite these missteps, it’s admirable that he at least recognizes his faults, and with each admission comes the claim that he’s fixed them and is far better. Neptune is filled with ear-pleasing music that encapsulates Gallant’s versatility as a singer. From traditional R&B to alternative sounds and everything in between, Gallant proves that his talents span as wide as the distance between Earth and the planet in which this project was named after.
Neptune is out now via EMPIRE. Get it here.