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She's not one to mess about is Essex singer-songwriter Gemma Ray. Less than a year after the release of her fourth album 'Island Fire' she will return with her fifth full-length 'Down Baby Down' on February 25th. If it's retro pop you're after then you'll have loved the likes of 'Runaway' (think Phil Spector producing Nancy Sinatra) from the last record, and the first cut we hear from the new album also looks to the past, not to be revivalist, but to be classic. Once again Gemma Ray drops a single with a timeless sound, although this time it's a different sonic experience.
'The Low Rising', if we continue with the comparison we started, is more like the work that nancy Sinatra did with Lee Hazlewood in its style. We should mention that Ray's voice isn't a dead ringer for Sinatra's, merely that the music made by the latter is a clear inspiration on some songs. Almost cinematic, 'The Low Rising' could be from a Western soundtrack. Its spooky guitar twangs giving a rich atmospheric fog to the song, the sighed vocals amplifying it. It's a downbeat track yet one that's full of mystery. The production is perfect, transporting you to another time and place. How much longer before Gemma Ray is mentioned in the same breath as PJ Harvey?
Gemma Ray's website
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