It has been one heck of week here at Back to More Cowbell. For starters, I managed to catch a bad case of tonsillitis. That’s right. I am no longer a child, but somehow yours truly managed to get this painful virus randomly. Needless to say, the week has been filled with watching absurdly mind numbing television shows, attempting to write, and trying to mend. In the process of trying to heal from this illness, about the only good thing that has come out of it thus far, is that I got to listen to a lot of music for several days in a row. The issue being, I had to find music that suit the mood I was in for days on end. Obviously moments like these can cause extreme meditation, contemplation and also, just plain misery.
I’d compare this week to a break-up. A bad break-up. I looked like crap. I didn’t want to leave the house. My eyes were puffy, my throat was hoarse, my nose was red and if one didn’t know my tonsils were the size of golf balls, you would have been convinced the biggest heartbreak of my life had just taken place judging by looks alone. The music filling the background of this picture throughout the week would have sealed the deal for you. So what was the music in the background? Lucky for me, I surrounded myself with a dose of alternative soothing melodies to ease my pain. The more I took them in, the more I became enthralled and hooked on them. And for that, I thank Cliff Usher and Lindsay Pitts, of the music group GEMS, whose hometown is Washington, DC, although they are now currently based in Los Angeles.
As I dozed on and off throughout this past week, staring at the wall and contemplating the meaning of life, I found myself listening to their album Kill the One You Love — on repeat.
The first tune to completely draw me in upon first listen was Soak.
With a sound that channels Vancouver Sleep Clinic and Pitts soaring ethereal vocals like a back in the day Sarah McLachlan, this psychedelic sexy synthetic music group will heat things up for you if you let them. Usher’s gravelly strong voice provides the perfect contrast. I allowed myself to just breathe and take in their contrasting beats and melodies that at times could potentially throw you into a chilled out state of higher conciousness and sadness. Yet, they are so perfectly balanced that depression won’t necessarily linger long around you. Although their song lyrics are tend to gravitate towards the dark and deep, Pitts’s angelic voice is so soothing that you believe that everything will be okay. Trust me, I just spent the week Living as a Ghost so to speak. It wasn’t easy.
Check out this live performance on KEXP in Seattle of their song Scars.
Here is a great collection of tracks from their Kill the One You Love album, released in 2015, via Soundcloud for your listening pleasure. Sneaker Pimps fans will certainly find GEMS to be an attractive alternative to fall in love with pretty quickly.
I’ll leave you with a throwback to a previously released track that I love called Pegasus.
GEMS: When are you heading back to DC? I’m sad I’m just now discovering your music and I want to see you perform live in the near future!
Thanks for listening and following music lovers. Have a great weekend!