Label: Mom + Pop
Released: 29th September 2023
Del Water Gap’s debut album was defined by a burning honesty, a smattering of nostalgic guitar slides and shattering heartbreaks through candid lyricism and sentimental soundscapes. On his second album, ‘I Miss You Already + I Haven’t Left Yet’, Del Water Gap becomes more contemplative, the searing pain of his earlier work now a dull pain. Traversing a newly existential outlook with new stability, over the course of the album, there’s a pulsing resilience. Of course, those moments of turmoil are still there, but there’s a willingness to persist and see the lighter side in each glorious indie beat.
‘Losing You’ grapples with regret and learning to admit your flaws, a growling guitar line and a nervous, fretting vocal delivery placing those raw emotions front and centre. ‘Quilt of Steam’ calls upon Arlo Parks, a heaven-sent merging of soft, lovelorn voices and a dreamy track. Across the album, the mistakes made are owned, and in doing so, a new kind of freedom is found. It rings through every sun-hazy guitar, every enamoured and thoughtful vocal – it allows Del Water Gap another level of creativity that pushes this second offering to another level. ‘Gemini’ is unlike anything that has preceded it; revolving around a dark bassline, it swirls you directly into the album’s orbit.
As ever, the highlight of Del Water Gap’s music remains his smart lyricism – both realistic and daydream-like, straightforward and wistful; he masterfully crafts a story within every line of the album. ‘I Miss You Already + I Haven’t Left Yet’ forms a narrative so special that it feels impossible not to turn to the next page, incessantly staying up for another chapter. “Will we ever get that feeling again?” asks Del Water Gap on the album’s lead single, ‘All We Ever Do Is Talk’. The album chases that question again and again. With the sheer pop excellence of these tracks, Del Water Gap ensures that even if that feeling has slipped away for good, it will remain somewhere in the vivid world of this album, no matter what happens.