“Walk With Me” by Diane Gentile and her band the Gentle Men
In the new single “Walk With Me” by rising star Diane Gentile and her band the Gentle Men, atmospheric melodies are met with ground-shaking lyricism in a battle for the ages, captured inside of a relatively simple pop song. An evocative piece that pulls no punches, “Walk With Me” boldly melodicism with some help from guest vocalist Alejandro Escovedo, with Gentile slicing through a wall of brooding harmonies on the back of a searing poetic drawl that is truly and uniquely her own. There’s no shortage of emotionality in this song, but one element typically found in singles from pop singers is starkly absent from this tune; artificiality. Gentile bears it all to us here and isn’t afraid to deliver her message free of the cheaply designed frills that often weigh down similarly stylized music.
Gentile’s provocatively designed poetry is mirrored in the rigidity of the arrangement of this track. Instrumentally, “Walk With Me” is a mammoth of a piece for the Gentle Men, utilizing minor gaps in the strut of the percussion to put a strong emphasis on the vocal parts from Gentile and Escovedo alike. Everything centers around the singing, with the music bonding itself to the very sway of Gentile’s enunciation. As articulate as it is imagistic, one thing that surprised me about “Walk With Me” was its startlingly smart use of prose that aesthetically equals the lumbering, elegiac quality of the beats that cushion it. This alone sets it apart from the majority of music currently adorning the top slots on the current Billboard charts, but I don’t get the impression that it was necessarily deliberate – Diane Gentile’s style strikes me as authentic in every sense.
The strings that generate most of the definition in the central melody are neatly tucked into the master mix but remain one of the most brilliantly constructed draws of the song. They express this vivid sense of tragedy that is then countered by the playful bass parts, forging a sort of duality that is at once jarring and yet comforting on some deeper level. One has to wonder, if she’s already producing music with this kind of substance at this stage of her career, what Diane Gentile will be capable of after even more experience inside the booth with her band at her side. This single is potent, and it’s got more prowess and intrigue than what a lot of her peers are producing even further along in the game than she is.
To me, “Walk With Me” demonstrates huge potential from a highly skilled singer and songwriter who doesn’t need a lot of assistance from external forces to dish out a memorable melody. Gentile is only at the start of what will likely be a long journey into the bright lights of stardom, and though it’s hard to tell where an artist will end up based solely on a collab, I have a good feeling that she’s going to ascend the hierarchy of indie pop a lot sooner than later. Her comfortability in the studio translates into the music that she’s recording, and I love where she appears to be headed next.