Thursday, June 12, 2014

"Scars"- GEMS

"You know all my scars, no we can't hide," GEMS singer Lindsay Pitts tenderly puffs on the duo's new shadowy pop track "Scars". Instead of registering as an act of committal though, it scans as resignation. She's invested so much time in this current person that starting over seems nearly impossible. There's a familiarity linking the two that neither can extricate themselves from. And rather than develop new shorthand with a new person, they'll continue to let dusty webs weave around one another.

Musically "Scars" is familiar as well. Clifford John gives the guitars the same heavy dosage of reverb the xx do. Autotuned ghosts sough in the background like something out of a Clams Casino production. Drum machines strike with a dulled precision typically reserved for zoned out rappers. Even the first half-second of "Scars" feels oddly primed to launch into "Ocean Breathes Salty". "Scars"'s saving grace from being denounced as "derivative" is Pitts' pained vocal take. It suffers without languishing. She exhales in disappointment, but doesn't breathe too much. Separated from the wonderfully obfuscating production, her decree "I can't bear it alone," would be too much emotional baggage for the listener to carry. However, placed in the middle of a melodic blur her situation is engaging. No one really wants to lose someone who knows them so well; Pitts isn't any different.

GEMS are set to go on an abbreviated tour starting June 22. No word on when an EP/LP might drop.

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