Gabriel Black first made a splash back in 2018 with the release of his “sad boy” single, where his cartoon character identity was born and has since amassed praise from noteworthy publications like The Line of Best Fit, Complex, DIY, and numerous others. It wasn’t until the release of his “dead yet” video from the help me, i’m flying EP (2019) where Gabriel revealed the artist behind the cartoon and marked the beginning of a new era. In his interview with Complex, Gabe explains this new beginning and shares it’s “like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders.” The singer has accumulated over 21M streams on Spotify alone, embarked on an international tour with notable artist Blackbear, and has had his music featured on HBO’s Euphoria– successfully establishing himself as an artist whose vulnerabilities and honesty connects directly to his fan’s hearts.
Returning with his own brand of genre-bending folky-alt-pop that he describes as a mashup between Taylor Swift‘s “You Belong With Me” and your favorite Nirvana song, Gabriel bears his vulnerabilities in “King of the Nosebleeds.” Produced by Grammy award-winner Tyler Johnson, the track highlights acoustic guitar to explore love, loneliness, and the in-between. Gabriel shares,
“King of the Nosebleeds” is for the person who doesn’t get invited to the parties. It’s for the outsider… It’s sad and slightly angry and very personal. It’s a love letter to the girl from another world, and at the same time, a love letter to myself to accept what I can’t change and embrace who I am.
The intimate lyrics are sung with a wistful tone and backed by tender guitar plucks, granting the song an emotive air that poignantly reflects Gabriel’s feelings of being an outsider. He paints opposing pictures early on, drawing out the dissimilarities between himself and the girl of his affections. As he launches into the chorus where he realizes he’s never going to be in the same world as she, a more tender tone takes over. And even though there’s an evident longing to fit in more, there is also a soothing acceptance in knowing that self-actualization is more important. That’s the touching message Gabriel wants his listeners to walk away with – to accept who you are and embrace everything that makes you, you.
In the self-directed video for the song, armor-clad Gabriel, with his dog in tow, traverses from the desert to the snow-capped mountains. We watch as our hero, a “Napoleon Dynamite meets Don Quijote,” dances across high school bleachers and stands atop a mountain overlooking his kingdom.