GEMS is a duo who make carefully crafted music, as can be heard on their three blissful songs released to date. All is intentional in the way they are arranged: the melodies, vocals and lyrics work together to give a haunting yet sublime state of feeling. This synaesthesia in their music may lead you feel that you’re being surrounded by the cold, but it’s also as refreshing as a morning breeze or drifting cradled by strong ocean waves.
The duo is Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John, a couple who have been making music and living a nomadic lifestyle for the past three years. Their beautiful music has been receiving coverage from music blogs for a long time, like Turntable Kitchen, who also highlighted their previous project, known as Birdlips (which brought to life great music that shouldn’t be left aside). With their new act, GEMS, based in Washington DC since August 2012, Pitts and John have initially presented us with tracks they recorded last October in an empty beach house in the Outer Banks, NC, before they had to be evacuated due to Hurricane Sandy.
Their sonority is drawn with melancholy and existential longing, with bittersweet vocals bouncing between the male and female voices and accompanied by timely, rhythmic percussion and the sultry use of synthesizers. That’s what has settled comparisons; it sounds like a mix of The xx and Beach House. The track “Void Moon” voices longing about an encounter in another plane – that of dreams; it brings a romantic, mystical aura and was the spark for an instant buzz around the band on many music blogs in the final months of last year. The track was followed by the release of “All I Ever”, consolidating the band’s direction towards dark dream pop.
For 2013, they will be playing SXSW and some more concerts on the East Coast, with dates confirmed for Washington, DC, on March 6th at Rock & Roll Hotel, with Ex-Cops; and also on March 9th at 285 Kent, in Brooklyn, NY. GEMS will also be releasing more singles and expect to drop a full length debut album by the end of the year. While we wait anxiously for these new tunes, you can stream their current material below endlessly like we do, not able to break the spell and get over listening to these enchanting songs.