At the center of “Terminal,” the new single from indie-pop newcomer Gerle, is an eviscerating attempt to understand a pretty base fear in death. With a shuddering medley that twists the ballad into something desperate and acutely pained “Terminal” is a sweepingly vulnerable cry for closure. Soaked in a potent melancholia Gerle minces no words in penning the song’s gutting lyricism. “Gun shot wound to the chest / I think it’d be a little less painful,” she echoes in the song’s opening lines. It’s her swooning agony and its raw precision that makes “Terminal” and its dark melodics another cathartic and sublime track in Gerle’s growing discography.
Based in California Gerle’s particular take on pop might take cues from the likes of Robyn, Miley Cyrus, and Madonna. But her true hallmarks are her ability to construct cathartic and personable songs like the effervescently bleak “Worst Song Ever” or the soul-brutalizing “Head in A Bottle.”
Gerle spent her childhood on the road with her mom and used her love for art and music to heal and cope with loneliness. Since then she’s become entwined with the Grammy Foundation, had her music featured on shows like Jersey Shore, and toured playing venues like The Roxy Hotel and Rockwell Music Hall. And with all the singles she’s released this far, Gerle must be gearing up for a debut EP or LP sometime in the future.
All of her singles so far have also been accompanied by acoustic/stripped versions as well, with Gerle somehow managing to find a way to make her songs even more heart-wrenching. “Down You Out (Acoustic)” and “Shadows (Stripped)” are two such soul-stabbing versions. “Terminal (Stripped)” is also available alongside the new single, replacing the song’s sonorous soundscape with something far more ethereal. The effect is eerie, haunting, and doubly depressing all at once — while still so terribly beautiful.
“The song is dark. It’s about death, the death of our relationships with others, with ourselves, with our own humanity,” Gerle said of the song. “The death of life as we once knew it and questioning what the fuck it all means. We love, we live, we die, you know, this bullshit we call life.”