The buzz was building around Gabriels last year as they prepared to release their debut Angels & Queens (Part 1).
Nine months on, the US-UK trio have made a considerable advance on the initial chart position for Angels & Queens with the release of the full deluxe version via Atlas Artists/Parlophone.
Originally charting at No.25 in October 2022, the expanded 13-track version landed at No.3 on Friday (July 14) with sales of 9,088 (including 8,065 physical copies). Including the consumption of Part 1, Angels & Queens has sales to date of 16,979, according to the Official Charts Company.
“We’re obviously very happy with the chart result, but it does feel just like the beginning for this incredibly unique band,” Duncan Ellis, founder and MD of Atlas Artists, told Music Week.
“We took a risk releasing the album in two parts but it worked. Part 1 allowed us to create and connect a deeper musical and artistic understanding with fans, media and the industry, which really helped build momentum into the beginning of 2023. From there, we were able to take all this goodwill, knowledge, excitement and support, such as our BRIT Award nomination, the top three BBC Sound Poll placing, along with an incredible live plot, and drive that into the release of Part 2.”
Since the release of Part 1, Gabriels – made up of vocalist Jacob Lusk (pictured), Ryan Hope and Ari Balouzian – have made an impact with a BRITs nomination for International Group. As well as Lusk’s appearance at Elton John’s Glastonbury farewell, which secured a huge TV audience, the group performed at the festival in addition to sets at Somerset House and Coachella.
“Jacob has to be one of the best vocalists and live performers in the world right now, bringing his energy, theatrics and positivity to audiences, which has really helped people to understand who and what Gabriels are,” said Ellis.
We took a risk releasing the album in two parts but it worked
Angels & Queens incorporates a new recording of the band’s debut single, Love & Hate In A Different Time, as well as songs such as Offering, Glory, Professional and We Will Remember (the reworking of Barbra Streisand’s The Way We Were) that have become staples of the band’s live set.
As well as larger headline dates across the UK, Europe and America, Gabriels are lining up their first shows in Asia, Africa and Australia.
“Watching them perform is one of the few times I’ve seen an audience moved to tears and brought to their feet with joy to dance, all within the same three-minute song,” said CAA’s Summer Marshall, the band’s agent. “There is no limit to how far they can go.”
“It was something to behold,” said Ellis of Gabriels’ tour performance. “It’s been our strongest card and live has really exploded for them. When Jacob steps on stage, it’s transformative. He’s a superstar frontman.”
The group’s 2022 support tour with Harry Styles, during which Lusk joined Styles onstage for his track Cinema, was important in introducing the band to a younger crowd.
Anya Du Sauzay, marketing director, says that it yielded tangible results.
“We could see via social media and streaming growth that we were converting Harry fans into Gabriels fans,” she told Music Week. “That proved that the band really can connect with a younger audience. They deserve worldwide recognition and that is very much our aim.”
The band’s tour continues next month at Summer Sonic in Tokyo followed by a return to the UK for All Points East and Forwards Festival in Bristol, in addition to regional record store club shows.
Gabriels now have almost a million monthly listeners on Spotify.
BBC Radio 6 Music have been big supporters so far, and Radio 2 have playlisted Glory.
“They’re very different to anything that’s going on right now,” Ellis told Music Week. “So it requires people to hold their nerve, to be confident in the fact that it’s unique. I think if people continue to do that, then we’ll get to where we need to be at daytime radio and a bigger streaming ecosystem. I always find with quality music, things just take a little bit longer.”
Subscribers can read our interview with Gabriels here.