gobbinjr Captivates With Dream Pop

Former NYU student Emma Witmer, also known as gobbinjr, released an EP with dreamy and layered tracks.

Holding her ground in the New York music scene, gobbinjr, the project of former NYU student Emma Witmer, just released a promising new EP that hugs and kisses its listeners with dreamy, synthy femme pop. Although previously available to stream on Bandcamp and SoundCloud, the EP titled “vom night” was officially released on Nov. 4. The six-song collection is uniquely Witmer’s vision, as she wrote, recorded and mixed it herself.

After leaving Tisch’s Clive Davis Institute, Witmer moved to Brooklyn and dedicated herself to being alone with her music. “vom night” is an expression of this solidarity. It is an ode to being alone. With sounds reminiscent of fellow New York artists Frankie Cosmos and Eskimeaux, the music is cute and sweet, with poppy undertones that whirl into your head.

The imaginative lyrics contrast this warm sugariness with their vulnerability. They are honest, introspective and covered in a sheen of sadness, with Witmer’s low vocal pitch nestling itself into the bottom layer of the tracks. The record’s bedroom pop sound conjures up a picture of Witmer alone in her room, lying on her bed, discovering herself.

The EP begins with “manatee,” a bright song with an immediate groove. Its sound is soft and girly and its lyrics are dreamy, with each line floating up and away. With a chorus about the sea, dolphins and manatees, Witmer’s usual melancholy demeanor is replaced with something much more wild and fantastical.

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“perfect” is a two-minute song with only two lines — “I just wanna be perfect / anything less is shameful.” Despite the fact that the lines repeat throughout the track, the song is not linear or monotonous, as the music fills the absence of lyrics. Each
compositional addition, like that of the background vocals and the arpeggiator, layers the song, making it richer and driving Witmer’s emotive words into the headspace of the listener.

The almost-title track “vom nite” is the most absorbing of the EP. It is intimate and sad; the lyrics describe a girl who has “never been loved before.” But this soft sound is silvery and sticky as it earworms into your head. The song ends with the lines “I’m a vacuum sealed freezer dinner rotting in the box / before it had a chance to get hot.” These words are strange and striking, but their meaning is gripping. It is simple but universal, showcasing the mastery of Witmer’s songwriting ability.

This is the perfect album to close your eyes and let your mind swirl into, slowly taking in the words and their meaning while being comforted by layers of sweet synth pop. Through “vom night,” gobbinjr gives us a very real look into her thoughts and emotions, and they are not all pretty. They are about a girl who hasn’t found love, a girl who is alone. But hope remains: she has started to find herself through her music.

Listen to “vom night” Bandcamp or buy the hard copy (that includes a minicomic illustrated by Sophia Foster-Dimino that mimics the music’s story), also via Bandcamp.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 9 print edition. Email Gilchrist Green at [email protected] 

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