Interview: Gabrielle Aplin’s Spirited Summer Pop Anthem “Nothing Really Matters”

Gabrielle Aplin © Louie Banks
Gabrielle Aplin shakes the stress away in her euphoric and summery new song “Nothing Really Matters,” a sunburst of sound radiating light and energy.

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Stream: “Nothing Really Matters” – Gabrielle Aplin


You might not guess it from the song’s sunny disposition, but Gabrielle Aplin’s euphoric new single “Nothing Really Matters” came to her on a dull, dark day in London. “Everything felt heavy and low, the trains weren’t working… it was just literally one of those days, and all I wanted to do was go home and walk my dogs in a field,” the 26-year-old says with a laugh. Out of this grey, suffocating melancholia was born “Nothing Really Matters,” a sunburst of sound radiating light and energy that finds Aplin setting her stress and daily woes aside and committing herself to the people and things that matter most.

Nothing Really Matters - Gabrielle Aplin

Nothing Really Matters – Gabrielle Aplin

I didn’t mean it when I
said that it was too much

Got myself into a mess like a head rush
I should have known, I nearly let go
And you caught me by surprise

Released March 27, 2019 via Aplin’s own Never Fade Records, “Nothing Really Matters” is Gabrielle Aplin’s first release of 2019 and the second single off her forthcoming third album, due out later this year. A brightly dramatic letting go and unburdening of the soul, “Nothing Really Matters” represents, for Aplin, the moment she decided to stop sweating the small stuff and to instead invest in herself.

I didn’t mean it when I said that it was too much,” Aplin sings in the entrance over a minimalist keyboard melody. “Got myself into a mess like a head rush.” Her words are direct, capturing a scene to which so many can relate — of feeling engulfed by things that simply don’t deserve that much effort or time. She continues: “I should have known, I nearly let go, and you caught me by surprise.”

Addressing this special someone, Aplin pens an apology of sorts – accepting the mistake of giving too much weight to the small stuff, and not prioritizing her subject appropriately:

And I know I should have
called you in the morning

But I was fighting with
myself like a war and

I don’t why I’m scared of forever
But it’s now or it’s never

Everyone needs a wake-up call every once in a while: A chance to reset and return to our center of gravity. For Aplin, “Nothing Really Matters” is an ode to the good in life, as well as a reminder to take care of herself: “It’s about everyday life being stressful and overwhelming on different levels in different ways and just deciding, “Fuck it. What is it that is actually worth my energy?” and opening up to what you really want and what really matters in a world where it’s so easy to stay closed.”

Gabrielle Aplin © Louie Banks

Gabrielle Aplin © Louie Banks

Aplin turns her pivot away from the doldrums into something of a love song in the chorus, singing passionately that “Nothing really maters, nothing really matters but you!” Her newfound conviction radiates through sweet, high-flying Ellie Goulding-esque oohs, bright claps, and effervescent synth lines that help elevate both her mood and her message.

Ooh, nothing really matters no
Nothing really matters but you
Nothing really matters no
I can’t fight it, I can’t hide it
Cause I always give into you
Ooh, nothing really matters no
nothing really matters but you

“Nothing Really Matters” maintains Gabrielle Aplin’s natural inclination toward raw and unadulterated heart-on-sleeve lyrics: In reviewing her previous single, the piano ballad “My Mistake,” Atwood Magazine praised the Brit for her “brutal honesty” and for giving listeners “a front-row seat to the artist’s battle with her own inner demons – a struggle we can all relate to.” Yet while “My Mistake” invited audiences to indulge in the artist’s grief, “Nothing Really Matters” lavishes us in light.

Musically, “Nothing Really Matters” is an exciting dive into anthemic pop.

“I love pop music!” Aplin says. “I love big sounds that you can move to and [that] are cinematic.”

How better to shake off the bad and embrace the good, than with glowing melodies and choruses full of emotional release? With spring now in session and summer not far behind, Gabrielle Aplin has given audiences a sunny and carefree indulgence we can listen to in good times and bad.

We will invitably succumb to new stresses: Such is life! As long as we’re equipped with the right tools, we can come out ahead and on top. Cheerful and ecstatic, “Nothing Really Matters” is a stunning reality check: A glorious, shimmering outpouring of feelgood cheer ready and waiting to lift our spirits sky-high.

Dive deeper into Gabrielle Aplin and her new song in our interview below.

No matter how much is going on, the real important things are always there shining the brightest.

I can’t fight it, I can’t hide it
‘Cause I always give into you
Ooh, nothing really matters no
Nothing really matters but you
Stream: “Nothing Really Matters” – Gabrielle Aplin

A CONVERSATION WITH GABRIELLE APLIN

Atwood Magazine: “Nothing Really Matters” follows “My Mistake” from late last year, and musically, these two songs could not feel like a greater contrast! Let’s start there, with your “sound” and current trajectory. Where is Gabrielle Aplin in 2019?

Gabrielle Aplin: I guess in context they sound like two different projects, but to me when they sit amongst the whole album I’ve been working on they are definitely from the same place. I love experimenting with production and trying new things, but the way I write is always the same. It’s just about how I choose to dress up a song, I guess!

What was the reception like for “My Mistake”? What, if any, were your takeaways from that song?

Aplin: It was really well received by my fans from what they tell me! For me, I just wanted to release a song about where I’m at; it had been such a while since I last released music.

Following up to that, could you say “My Mistake” taught you any lessons either about songwriting, or the way in which you insert yourself into your music?

Aplin: Absolutely. I wrote it on a day when my writing brain wasn’t working, and I couldn’t find it in me to try. But my friends I was writing with and I decided to not try and just see what comes out, and “My Mistake” happened. So just letting go and writing what feels natural and not worrying about critiquing until the song is out is something that song taught me.

Nothing Really Matters - Gabrielle Aplin

Nothing Really Matters – Gabrielle Aplin

Now we come to “Nothing Really Matters,” this big pop jam with diary-like lyrics about the push and pull with a rocky (but intense) relationship. How were you inspired to write this?

Aplin: It’s about everyday life being stressful and overwhelming on different levels in different ways and just deciding, “Fuck it. What is it that is actually worth my energy?” and opening up to what you really want and what really matters in a world where it’s so easy to stay closed.

It was one of those days where the weather was grim, everything felt heavy and low, the trains weren’t working, probably something to do with Brexit was going on and it was just literally one of those days, and all I wanted to do was go home and walk my dogs in a field [laughs]. Sometimes I have to exaggerate a feeling that’s hard to put into words so I can unravel it and put it together as a song.

Sometimes I have to exaggerate a feeling that’s hard to put into words so I can unravel it and put it together as a song.

I always thought that the grass
somewhere was greener

And I accept that I’ve
always been a dreamer

Trying to control, I learn to let go
Just don’t let me go no
Ooh, nothing really matters no
Nothing really matters but you
Nothing really matters no

Can’t fight it; can’t hide it, ‘cause I always give in to you. Nothing really matters now, nothing really matters but you.” What do these lyrics mean to you, and how do they capture the spirit of the song?

Aplin: That no matter how much is going on, the real important things are always there shining the brightest. I guess on the flip, it’s also about how I sometimes let the stresses of life get to me and I continue to give in to them even when I’m aware of what’s really important.

What is important about this feeling (of being helpless to love/lust/desire/someone else) that you found alluring to begin with? Why pinpoint this experience or emotion?

Aplin: I think everyone experiences that feeling in so many different situations where a simple action feels like a huge risk when it’s new. Lyrically I wanted it to feel like I was rattling off excuses to procrastinate.

Gabrielle Aplin © Nat Michele Davis

Gabrielle Aplin © Nat Michele Davis

Musically, this is a real 180 from some of your previous work! What inspired the big, bombastic guitars, the euphoric Ellie Goulding-esque vocal oohs, and the larger than life drums?

Aplin: I love pop music! I love big sounds that you can move to and are cinematic. I definitely don’t try to stick myself to a genre or sound. I worry more about my lyrics or structure and then think about production, and I guess I’m just inspired by these sounds at the moment!

What’s the ultimate takeaway for this summery track, in your heart?

Aplin: I want it to feel like summer in song form! I really hope my fans love it. I hope it comes across as hopeful, summery and carefree.

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Nothing Really Matters - Gabrielle Aplin

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Gabrielle Aplin Dives into Her Raw, Breathtaking “My Mistake”

:: FEATURE ::

Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com