GEMS sit in a certain place on the spectrum of synthpop, taking cues (I'd hazard) from Portishead — they are a synthpop duo of heavy aspect, chuky synths, looped and delayed guitar — topped by sickly sweet vocals. Kill the One You Love is nothing but sad, sad bangers. This is music made for driving at 3 AM maybe not after a heartbreak, but definitely in the proximity of emotion, maybe of tempering your present feelings of contentment for the inevitable denoument of life. GEMS' last release was a sweet little EP called Medusa and this feels like a very obvious progression from that. That CD has lived in my car for weeks at a time since the summer of '14. I can see my burned copy of this album doing the same. One of my favorite releases of last year was Color War's s/t album [You like synths? You deserve that album. It's nothing but fun.] and this evokes that in my head in the best way.
RIYD: Color War, EMA, Milk & Bone, synths TRACKS: 8, 11, 3, 4