Thursday, January 12, 2017

Listen: GEMS - "Blow Out the Light"

photo by Edric Chen
There are times when I've followed a band so closely and so faithfully that I completely forget I haven't actually written about them. GEMS are such a band. Originally introduced to them by I Guess I'm Floating and seeing them live for the first time at IGIF's CMJ showcase Floating Fest back in 2013, the Washington D.C transplants have achieved an awful lot in a rather short amount of time. After relocating to Los Angeles and releasing their debut full length Kill the One You Love in 2015, the duo return with a new track and news of a song series. Aptly titled Every Full Moon, GEMS plan to release a new track on the full moon of every month.

"Blow Out the Light" is the first track of Every Full Moon and it certainly is a wonderful way to start. Despite GEMS always encapsulating a sort of almost guilt-inducing catchy brand of heartbreak pop especially on Kill the One You Love, "Blow Out the Light" finds the duo firmly on the other side of their ended relationship and has them working out their feelings musically. From its sparse piano and vocal intro, GEMS achieve a well calibrated balance - steamy, intimate, vulnerable while still achieving memorable musical moments and a hint of dancyness that pushes the track comfortably to its eventual end. It's surprisingly amicable as Lindsay Pitts and Clifford Usher each get a turn to air their grievances. They're given equal consideration and weight - less like barbs and more turns in an ongoing discussion as emotionally charged as it is. And ultimately lyrically the duo end up right where you expect them to to be able to continue to making music together. "I can't promise that I'll ever be cool with you but I'll try to be kind" Pitts sings and even separate from its autobiographical content, it's cathartic. More so when you realize Pitts and Usher are singing together before they go off on separate paths: Usher offering a guitar solo and Pitts vocal riffs.

Listen to "Blow Out the Light":

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