Gabe Rivera Conjures and Courses Through a Lovesick Journey in His New EP “Stained By Your Words”

Gabe Rivera is latching onto the often overlooked and even feared heightened emotionality of teenagehood in his newest EP “Stained By Your Words” coasting through various familiar places we encounter during such a formative and tumultuous time. With 5 tracks that explore different facets of a souring relationship, “Stained By Your Words” refuses to tame tempestuousness and instead embraces the conflicts and contingencies of young love. The chronology of the tracks is especially pertinent to its themes and even echoes how Gabe and his band perform live. “The order of the songs takes you through an emotional journey, being energetic in the first two songs, mellowing out in the third and fourth, [and then] followed by the big finale which is the title track. It reflects our live shows which have a similar structure,” Gabe said. The journey is felt through a series of candid lyrics and rhythms dancing between indignance and melancholy. “Stained By Your Words” sets the precedent for Gabe’s capabilities and reveals ripe emotional attunement that will only strengthen future projects. 

Photo Credit: Adriana Rivera


“Drained” has all the aspects of an intriguing opener. The first roar of the guitar suggests a sense of cinematic introduction which quickly veers into an impressive array of riffs. Gabe’s vocals pivot between soft frustration and electric screams of fiery passion. Additionally heightening this emotional turmoil are the drums which appear faded in the background at times but contain a palpable rage in seamless conjunction with the rest of the track.



“Remember” has an immediate shift in energy with a guitar line higher and almost brighter than its predecessor but the lyrics quickly giveaway to more animosity, confusion, and reflection. Known for his dissections of the shadowy sides of love and relationships, Gabe wrestles with not recognizing someone anymore and letting it tear him up inside with vocalizations that mirror someone on the edge of tears after a screaming match. 



“Snakes” slows and steadies itself, its opening instrumentation evoking Cigarettes After Sex. Perhaps the EP’s most hazy track, “Snakes” sedates listeners in a dreamlike state while harboring extremely violent lyrics that steer us into nightmarish territory. “All the cuts and the blood that I lost seeking your change and burned by your frost,” paint a brutal picture of sacrifice and hopeless longing that leads to a destructive heartbreak.


What You Need (Stupid Love Songs)

“What You Need (Stupid Love Songs) whines out like a tear-stained love poem. A heightened presence of bass and taps of the drums halts any anger and divulges retrospective sadness. The chorus’s punctuating line “But I can’t change myself into the one thing that you need” sees the singer being unabashedly honest with themself and the song’s subject advocating for a final separation that intensely depresses, but will make way for avid growth in the future. 


Stained By Your Words

The EP’s ending and title track catapult us right back into fast-paced emotional whiplash, “Stained By Your Words” illustrates the polarizing trajectory of the confrontation of an ending relationship. Starting out with a quicker tempo, “Stained By Your Words” eventually declines into a slower more potent realization and confession of desolation. The song encapsulates the hurricane of volatility waiting to be unleashed as something once thought to be beautiful diverges into something tragic. 

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