Gabe Burdulis was still a teenager when his first album Land of Make Believe was released. That recording landed him onstage at the Madison Area Music Awards and he carried home the award for Youth Album of the Year.
This five-song EP was released in 2014 and Burdulis worked closely with Shawn Tallard who co-produced, added drums, synths and backing vocals, and recorded, mixed and mastered the whole affair at his Sun Voyage Music Productions studio. Brurdulis is joined on this outing by Meghan Rose (piano), Trap Saturn’s Sydney Prall (vocals) and Jack Smith (drums).
The development is obvious right from the get-go. “I Want You” is a snappy pop song with excellent production, a well-written hook and an effective bridge. Burdulis’s acoustic guitar bubbles along with a bouncy rhythm track and tight rhythm section. Prall’s backing vocals blend well with Burdulis’s voice and one can hear the maturity from the first album.
The romantic innocence continues on “Little Yellow House” which uses handclaps to accompany a great acoustic guitar performance. Burdulis has an uncanny melodic sensibility which comes through loud and clear with complex chord construction, deftly fingerpicked.
He cranks it up several notches on “Running Back to You” which has a heavy, blues vibe and some slick electric lead. Burdulis is no slouch on electric, coming across with Prince-like intensity.
“Wouldn’t Trade You for the World” features Rose’s piano and a nice backing vocal performance. The acoustic/electric guitar interplay is extraordinarily confident and accomplished.
“Bullseye Heart” is a gorgeous three-part vocal exercise set to Burdulis’s totally cool acoustic guitar.
The Little Things is a virtual clinic on songwriting expertise, all from a young man barely out of high school who displays a world-wise sensibility. It’s nothing short of amazing and in the span of these five songs Burdulis displays enough musical chutzpah to attract any major recording label. Expect big, big things from Burdulis, one of the more gifted musicians to come out of Madison.