Gemma Ray: The Exodus Suite

review gemma ray x1 cong

This late night, gothic CD sounds like it was made in another era, when albums were albums and twitter was only the sound that birds make. This is meant to be listened to as a complete work, like in the old days.

Any fans of geology (or indeed Santorini) will appreciate track one, Come Caldera, a mournful, atmospheric opening to the album; there is a dearth of geology in modern music, it must be said. (There’s a lively bonus track, too, Caldera! Caldera!).

There Must Be More Than This is gloomy and gothic but not depressing, its live feel reminiscent of a strain of 80s pop. The guitar goes twang and makes the sound of an arrow, the piano runs up and down the keyboard. The Original One is minimalistic and slow, just mournful toms and shimmery guitar; there’s a touch of the Richard Hawleys about it. We Do War sounds like Sinead O’Connor.

Many a song (Ifs and Buts is one) sounds as if it’s going to morph into a catchy little pop tune but never does.

The basic tracks were recorded predominantly live over six days. Clearly well rehearsed, as this is paced and nuanced music, and it’s impressive if the sound you hear is live.

It’s a strong collection but its brooding dark feel means it’s a mood album. If you like brooding, retro, reverb-heavy pop, you may like this.

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