by Lizzie Hatfield
The fact that these two are so undiscovered is almost a crime against music (yet I can’t really judge, as I only heard of them a couple of days back). Washington-based Gems’ signature sound is one you wouldn’t be surprised to find lurking back in the 80s. It labels itself as Dream Pop, and quite rightly; their music has that dreamy, ethereal quality, that kind of sound where the vocals seem to glow as they sweetly echo, accompanied by an elegant backing of synths and ghostly harmonies. It comes dangerously close to what I like to label ‘Topshop changing room music’: that kind of indie electronic pop that almost washes over you - however, Gems seem to have created a sound which somehow transcends this, creating unconventional riffs in tracks like Never Age.
Despite their status of being relatively unknown, new single Medusa (the namesake of their upcoming EP), has received a fair amount of attention recently. Being picked up on by Buzzfeed, and reaching #1 on HypeMachine, these guys might finally be about to break through and get the recognition that they truly deserve. Of course, there’s a small part of me that doesn’t want this. We all want ‘our’ tiny little favourite bands to stay a secret so we can somehow put our claim on them. But I think the chance is slim that Gems will stay off the radar for much longer - their sound is so contemporary and so fresh in terms of what’s hot on the music market right now, that if Radio 1 get a listen then they’ll be receiving airplay for weeks to come.