Gem Club – In Roses
Rarely do musicians nowadays set out to make grandiose pieces of art. Some hide behind the guise that they’re breaking new ground or that they’ve been waxing nostalgic, but they often skip out on attempting at the loftier side of crafting beautiful pieces of art. That being said, Gem Club have done just that with their sophomore release, In Roses; it’s an ornate and carefully constructed piece of majesty.
The Massachusetts act opt to open up with “Nowhere,” an instrumental piece that effectively build the mood by draping atmospheric textures atop one another. It sets the stage perfectly for the listener’s entrance into “First Weeks,” which opens immediately with a softened piano line. Soon, Christopher Barnes answers the call to the stage, entering with his lofty voice, accented by the careful string accompaniment the group has employed since their inception. It’s a somber tune, fit for gazing out your window on a cold wintry day; I especially like the fuzzier moments in the recording as the song walks away towards its close.
In Roses often lives on the softer side of chamber-pop, so that might worry some who don’t have the time to sit and listen to the details of the world. But, in songs like “Michael” there are these moments where Barnes’ voice collides with cello and woodwind accents to glorious effect. Similarly, on “Hypericum,” there’s a percussive heartbeat haunting the background as dark tones are carefully pounded upon the piano. These are surely artistic details that many people choose to overlook, which sadly makes music like this harder for people to create. What’s the point when your greatest addition to the musical lexicon goes unnoticed?
Sure, it’s difficult to absorb in today’s quick paced lifestyle, but creative efforts like this one from Gem Club are ultimately what make music so rewarding. Movements sweep into new movements within the same track, and voices unite in harmony; these things remain impactful hours after the music has stopped playing. Just take a listen to a song like “Soft Season,” and ask yourself why there are so few artists creating these incredibly lofty pop constructionist tracks. This is one of several songs within this album that have chased through my mind, even after several listens.
Admittedly, In Roses is not the sort of record I can come back to time and time again; it’s far too unique in that manner. It requires special attention to its every detail and touch; it begs for the listener to devote endless hours to playing it over and over again. Most would call it an arduous task, but if you’re willing to give yourself over to Gem Club, then they will push you towards places, emotionally speaking, that you might not visit enough; you’ll be eternally thankful to the band for giving you such a rare opportunity…and piece of art.[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Gem-Club-Polly.mp3]
Download: Gem Club – Polly [MP3]