Interestingly enough, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may have come across a couple of posts featuring the Washington, DC-based electro pop duo GEMS, comprised of Lindsay Pitts and John Usher. And although it has been a while since I’ve personally written about the Washington, DC-based electro pop duo, they have developed and maintained a reputation for crafting slickly produced pop that manages to be intimate and confessional while expressing heartache and profound longing; in fact, with the release of the duo’s 2015 full-length debut, Kill The One You Love, Pitts and Usher received a rapidly growing national profile as the sensual album single “Soak” was praised across the blogosphere for thematically focusing on the sense of life being irrevocably altered after an heartbreaking breakup. But underneath the seemingly bleakness and heartache of the song, there’s a subtle ray of hope as the song’s narrators readily admit that life is frequently about accepting what has happened, trying to learn from it and then trying to move forward with the best of your ability.
The duo’s latest single “Poison” is also the latest single in their Every Full Moon Series — a single of the month series, in which the duo release a new single every Full Moon. Interestingly, as GEMS’ Lindsay Pitts explains in press notes, ” “Cliff and I started writing ‘Poison’ before we ended our romantic relationship. It laid untouched for a good year before we stumbled across it again. At first, resurrecting it brought me back to a really painful time in my life and elicited some heartbreaking visceral memories. However, we ended up breathing light into something we had started during a time of isolation and darkness.” Interestingly, while focusing on familiar themes of heartache and attempting to move forward past it, the song sonically speaking finds the duo drawing from 80s New Wave as they pair they’re aching boy-girl harmonies with shimmering guitars, electronic drums fed through reverb, atmospheric electronics, and a razor sharp, memorable hook.