Review: Gem Club – In Roses

There’s something ephemeral about the rising tide of dream pop music. It hasn’t taken the world by storm, but it is casting a shadow that makes its presence felt in every- thing from independent airwaves to emotional scenes in TV dramas. Such sounds could be dismissed as mere melancholic background music, but this trio from Boston wash away all such accusations with the mesmerising multi- faceted melodies found in their new album In Roses. Gem Club’s latest offering comes in the wake of their well-received debut album, Breakers, for which critics lauded their intimate, minimalist yet emotionally charged sound.

This album marries the symphonic and the psychedelic, as the weightless instrumental first track, ‘No Noise’, demonstrates. The band’s characteristic rhythmic loops and riffs some- times risk descending from sonorous to soporific on instrumental tracks, but lead singer Christopher Barnes’s increased vocal range rescues the rest, culminating in the tracks ‘Idea for Strings’ and ‘Polly’, with tones of James Blake’s soul dub. Overall, In Roses manages to maintain Gem Club’s formula of haunting piano chords and melancholic vocals, whilst sounding more mature, developed and not compromising on their power to move.