Last month, Washington DC pop-synth duo GEMS released the ethereal single “Medusa,” and immediately drew comparisons to experimental groups Purity Ring and Goldfrapp.
The shadowy ballad—laced with dark, sophisticated bass lines and soulful vocals from Lindsay Pitts—positioned a near-perfect foreground for the debut EP of the same name. In a sweeping declaration, GEMS establishes its presence by delivering the five-track digital release with emotionally hinged lyrics and striking synth chords.
Opening with the streamlined and melodically pure “Ephemera”, Medusa lays the pathway for the ghostly vocals of Pitts. Amid clanging guitars and dreamy, glittery beats, she sings, “I can’t help but fall into you/It’s a brief world, falling through.” The soft depths of her voice transfixed against decadent bass lines offer a sophistication impressive for a debut release.
In “Sinking Stone,” Pitts plunges into lyrical depths marked by the sorrow of heartbreak, and her voice denotes an obsessive pain against melancholic, romantic rifts.
“I could never be the girl you knew before/But I’m still holding on/Would you ever trust me again, if what we had is gone?” she croons.
In the closing track, “Pegasus,” Pitts continues the agonizing lament of regret, and is this time accompanied by the deep, appending vocals of Clifford John. Together, they sing a soaring, emotionally gripped ballad over haunting keyboards and dreamy synths. “Can you set me free?” she pleads. “The darkness is swallowing me.”
It’s clear while listening to Medusa that keynotes of remorse and anguish from love lost are the main impetus for the EP.
The haunting presence of torment is evident in the ghostly vocal tones of Pitts, and this sense is further instilled in the dark, rich bass lines accompanying her. The capabilities of GEMS are endless—and are particularly wrought in the band’s abilitiy to produce a quality sound steeped in elegance. Medusa demonstrates the duo’s potential to unfurl from its station as a burgeoning indie act, and catapult it into a larger arena unmatched by any of its contemporaries.
GEMS – Medusa tracklist:
- “Sinking Stone”