Vietnamese American and Houston native keshi (real name Casey Luong) has become a streaming powerhouse in the last few years, inspiring him to leave his job as an oncology nurse to pursue music full-time. The success of his first four self-produced EPs—2018’s The Reaper, 2019’s skeletons, 2020’s bandaids and always, with their millions of streams—is proof enough. GABRIEL is his proper debut LP, and it’s a departure from some of his earliest recordings.
“GET IT” is energetic, utilizing old-school hip-hop call-and-response in his most boastful song to date. “SOMEBODY” is lo-fi R&B, “TOUCH” is Frank Ocean-informed alt-pop, “PÉRE” is a French spoken-word interlude, “MILLI” breaks out Spanish guitar, “UNDERSTAND” is all about the string-arrangement crescendo, and “WESTSIDE” is big-hearted acoustic guitar balladry, with trap beats and keshi’s crystal-clear falsetto on full display. Co-produced by Elie Rizk (known for his work with TikTok musician Bella Poarch), keshi’s first full-length pushes the boundaries of what his idiosyncratic songwriting style can sound like.