Dylan Gilbert is a songwriter, sound artist, and performer from Charlotte, North Carolina — and a founding member of the genre-bending punk band Hectorina. His music ranges from guitar-based art pop to experimental music, taking inspiration from artists such as Kate Bush, Talk Talk, Björk, Prince, David Lynch, and ambient and minimalist music.
Since 2005, he’s self-released over a dozen solo albums plus five albums and two EPs with Hectorina. Gilbert began touring in his early teens and has since performed over 800 times across the U.S. with appearances at Hopscotch Music Festival, CMJ Music Marathon, Indie Grits Film Festival, Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, Don’t Sweat It Fest, and BOOM Festival.
Gilbert has created work in a variety of mediums, including a full theatrical production of Hectorina’s rock opera Collywobble — which premiered in a month-long residency at Snug Harbor in 2015. While in residence at Goodyear Arts in 2016, he designed an interactive sound installation called The Forest and collaborated with XOXO Performance Ensemble to produce All the Dogs and Horses, a “zen acid western” play. His collaborations with dancer and choreographer Sarah Ingel have premiered at Charlotte Ballet’s Choreographic Lab, ladyfestCLT, and Food for Thought, curated by Caitlyn Swett and Helen Simoneau Danse. Further collaborators include poet de’Angelo Dia, film producers Basic Cable, and theatre collective Sinergismo.
His newest full-length work, a lo-fi and drone-inspired album entitled Spirit Breeze, will be released on May 27th.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the video for “Solar Flares,” a standout track on the new album. With its slowly swelling instrumentals, Gilbert lets his sprawling soundscape unfold with grace and drama. There is tension that is balanced by an acoustic beauty, conveying the sense of loneliness that Gilbert draws inspiration from. The music, which combines ambient and indie rock, gradually builds into a commanding climax and ultimately giving way to a wave of feedback and jagged instrumentation.
Dylan Gilbert describes the inspiration behind the song:
“Solar Flares” was written during a period of extreme loneliness. I spent a few sleepless weeks late in the pandemic writing draft after draft of this song. I wanted to write a straightforward love song about missing this person who was away, but the words kept coming out jumbled and forced. In the end, the song became about not knowing what to say and just being honest about what came out.”