Gemma Ray Announces New Album Island Fire out May 29th
Check out the free download of Gemma Ray’s single “Runaway” HERE
Gemma Ray 2012 Tour Dates:
2/29: New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall
3/5: Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
3/6: Atlanta, GA @ Star Bar
3/7: Nashville, TN @ TBD
3/8: Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover Festival
3/9: Tuscaloosa, AL @ Green Bar
3/10: Baton Rouge, LA @ Chelseas
3/11: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
3/12: Austin, TX @ CNN Grill (Max’s Wine and Dive) – 10pm (SXSW)
3/14: Austin, TX @ Tap Room on Six, 11 p.m. (SXSW)
3/15: Austin, TX @ Redeye Artist Lounge, (Okay Mountain Art Gallery), 11 a.m. (SXSW)
3/15: San Antonio, TX @ Big Spill Festival
3/16: Austin, TX @ Jacked Stage, 1 p.m. (SXSW)
UK maverick songstress Gemma Ray has gone all out with her latest and most ambitious album Island
Fire, out May 29th on Bronze Rat. True to previous eclectic form, the album is a trip through Gemma’s
ever-growing, over-flowing bag of tricks. From lavish orchestral alt-pop (“Bring Ring Ring Yeah”), to
intimate stop-you-in-your-tracks tracks (“Flood And A Fire”), to bitter-sweet girl-group-sounds (“Put
Your Brain In Gear”) to brooding psychedelia (“Make It Happen”) to a sci-fi waltz (“Rescue Me”),
and much more besides. Runaway, to be released as a 10” on 4/17 (Record Store Day) is Link Wray’s
guitar laid over a cheap drum machine, but bottle-rocketed to God Knows Where with a new level of
posh, courtesy of vocal harmonies galore and runaway (yes, runaway) strings. It shouldn’t really make
sense. On paper it probably doesn’t. But that’s the whole point of being taken by surprise, right?
To top the album off, Gemma instigated an unprecedented collaboration with Ron and Russell Mael,
also known as Sparks. In what can only be described as Sparks covering Gemma Ray covering Sparks,
the end result is a Sparks re-interpretation of Gemma’s interpretation of Sparks. ENOUGH!! All you
need to know is the two tracks that are the result of this unlikely meeting of minds appear on the album
as bonuses, after already being released as a must-own* 7” complete with artwork by Rick Froberg
(Obits/Hot Snakes). (* you’re too late)
RELEVANT SIDENOTE – Gemma once fainted at a Sparks concert.
Anyway … (pause for breath, back to the job) … despite all the disparate genres pulled in here, Ms.
Ray blends them into her own unified and grandiose sound. Whatever she does, it’s still Gemma Ray.
The listener’s mind is stirred by a very cinematic music that suggests an acquaintance with the likes
of composers John Barry and Ron Grainer, Tarantino’s soundtracks, plus the Beach Boys, the Walker
Brothers, the aforementioned Sparks and all sorts beyond. As the album unfolds itself and takes stabs
at folding itself around you, you come to presume that Gemma Ray’s music is borne of a hankering for
a new inspiration, a new adventure and a new reality. When you see the sleeve art in all its glory, you
come closer to that conclusion. Gemma Ray is trying to create a diversion. And who’s to argue
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