Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher are GEMS. Today, the duo share their newest track “Soak,” from upcoming debut full-length album, Kill the One You Love. Out October 30th on Carpark Records.
With the album’s title inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club quote, “that old saying, how you always kill the one you love, well, look, it works both ways,” GEMS tackle human truths and a range of emotion with a dramatic flair, alluding to the death of a relationship, the death of love, the loss of self. A sense of hope pervades the album, as well as a sonic embrace of pop’s form and structure as well as nods to R&B production and shoegaze.
Since the project’s inception, GEMS have matched their visuals to their music, favoring grayscale imagery that’s equal parts elegance and sparsity (à la Antonioni). Kill the One You Love offers their sound as the true root of this aesthetic—stylistic restraint that, though stark, remains flush with emotion. The album opens in Art of Noise territory with “Blood Runs” and “w/o u,” unhurried mood-setters with a chill-out sense of liltingness and club-friendly low end. Songs like “Scars” and “Tangled Memories,” with their delayed chords, ethereal vocals, and clean guitar lines evoke early Cocteau Twins. “Soak,” “Heartbreaker,” and “White Light” integrate urgency and climax, reaching great heights with heavy, distorted guitar and vocal mutations. Lindsay’s lyrics wrestle throughout with the difficulties of being close to another. “Can you make me whole?,” she asks on “w/o u.” Between doubts and confirmations on “Soak,” she offers “I am your water to float in.” GEMS are searching for that ray of light in the darkness.
GEMS’ North American Fall Tour Dates
Oct 9 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour *
Oct 10 – San Francisco, CA – Social Hall *
Oct 12 – Portland, OR – Star Theater *
Oct 13 – Seattle, WA – Barboza *
Oct 16 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake *
Oct 18 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall *
Oct 20 – Toronto, ON – The Hoxton *
Oct 21 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle *
Oct 22 – Boston, MA – Middle East *
Oct 23 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall *
Oct 26 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom *
* with Autre Ne Veut