Tag: GEMS Kill The One You Love

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.



Since their formation three years ago, the Washington, DC-based duo GEMS, comprised of Lindsay Pitts and John Usher, have developed a reputation for crafting material that’s intimate and confessional, and expresses heartache and longing paired with eerily atmospheric and hypnotic synth pop that’s subtly influenced by contemporary R&B.And the duo’s forthcoming full-length debut, Kill The One You Love, which takes its title from a line in Chuck Palahniuk‘s Fight Club will not only further cement the duo’s reputation for their take on contemporary pop, it will also help expand their already growing national profile.

Kill The One You Love‘s latest single “Soak” is a haunting song that pairs ominously swirling electronics, Nile Rodgers-like guitar played through gentle layers of reverb, a shuffling yet sinuous bass line, stuttering and skittering yet propulsive drum programming with aching boy and girl vocals expressing desperate loneliness, heartache and longing that comes as a relationship splinters apart. In particular, the song focuses on that feeling that life being irrevocably different after a breakup — that in some way just trying to move forward and live one’s life without that other person seems as impossible as breathing underwater or walking upside down. And yet, there’s a subtle ray of hope as the narrators of the song blindly attempt to accept the uncertainty of their lives. It’s an emotionally raw song that evokes yanking a bandaid off a barely healed wound — and it does so in a way that’s incredibly sensual.