If you listen close enough to “Hospital”, the last single from Gatlin’s sophomore EP To Remind Me of Home, beneath the vibraphone-like chimes is the faintest ringing as if she were playing water-filled wine glasses in the back of the recording studio. It’s the smallest detail, hidden under guitar strums as gentle as a curtain breeze, but one that colors the ballad with the slightest bit of ethereality, like a Sofia Coppola frame: clad in pure white, warm suburban light from the window, eyes transfixed to the ceiling. There’s a shy smirk, too, in the way Gatlin approaches self-deprecation (“I find it kind of funny how much pain I’m in”), modeled perhaps after Cecilia Lisbon’s infamous line.
The hurt and struggle with mental health is never glamorized or indulgent though. Instead, the Nashville-based singer-songwriter walks the line between humor (“At least he’s cheap”) and hope (“Wish I could find the bottom and build a house where I could live”), the personal (mentioning oranges as an aside to her home state of Florida), and universal. Other singles from the EP—the “Out of the Woods”-like pulse of “What If I Love You”, synth glints thrown in like wishful fountain pennies, for example—have done the job of reintroducing Gatlin with her new pop-oriented sound. But “Hospital” feels less like a make-over and more like a closer incision to what lies at the heart of Gatlin’s music: blunt honesty, in tears, laughs, and smiles.
Of the EP as a whole, Gatlin said, “My sophomore EP, To Remind Me of Home, is a short story of my life the past year and a half. It covers relationships and mental health – the two things most people in their early 20s are trying to navigate and figure out. It’s honest and raw and is a reflection of who I am as a person. The production, the artwork, the video visuals are all a part of the story that reminds me of home.”