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Gemma – ‘Gemma’

Independent Release
Mogwai, Dead Can Dance, Ozric Tentacles, Anathema
Release Date
June 21, 2021
Independent Release
Electronic Post Rock/Folk Rock/Dreamy Space Rock

Gemma are a five-piece from the Greek island of Crete, and they have been working together and honing their sound and style since 2017. Earlier this year they finally gave us their eponymous debut album, and what a delightfully atmospheric work it is.

From lush sonic palettes reminiscent of The Cocteau Twins, to loop and bleep a’la Radiohead, to simple, beautiful Post-pop songs, Gemma have taken their time about it to produce a work of quite sublime melancholy.

This is pretty much as far removed from standard Metal Digest fare as we’ve ever been; there’s not a single shred of anything distorted, discordant, or harsh. What Gemma do is transport the listener on a soft pillow of sound from one ethereal vista to another, with loops and samples as integral to the sound as the hypnotic live drumming and deep and fluid bass guitar. Using arpeggiated keyboards to flesh out the mix at every suitable opportunity like Erpland for the modern era, the overall effect is deeply relaxing, meditative even. Danili Evangelia’s dream-like vocals, sung entirely in the Cretan dialect, wash and shimmer over the music; sometimes carrying the only melodic line over a soundscape, at others wordlessly creating harmonic tension purely so it can be resolved at the end of the song.

I’ll make no disguise of the fact that my personal take on “Post” anything is a bit more Cult of Luna or If These Trees Could Talk than this, but I thoroughly enjoyed dipping a toe into the warmer sonic waters of Gemma’s world. The production values and recording quality are frankly astonishing, and I suppose it does no harm to dial things back every once in a while.

"Not something I’d have gone looking for, but a nice find nonetheless"

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