Voices of Gemma floats into territories previously explored by bands like Rotary Connection, Stereolab and Broadcast." /> L.A. Record

ADRIAN YOUNGE: VOICES OF GEMMA

March 30th, 2018 | Album reviews

ADRIAN YOUNGE
Voices of Gemma
Linear Labs

For those familiar with the exacting old school style of Adrian Younge, the sumptuous aural glory of this Linear Labs production comes as no surprise. However, unlike the thick funk of his Luke Cage soundtrack or the Delfonics tracks he so deftly recalibrated, Voices of Gemma floats into territories previously explored by bands like Rotary Connection, Stereolab and Broadcast. The soprano-range vocal harmonies of Brooke DeRosa and Rebecca Englehart swoop and flutter, cherubic yet as sensual as a siren’s song, serving as heralds through an endlessly arpeggiated instrumental landscape of cellos, piano, bells and flutes. Each instrument is recorded with such tenderness and attention to detail that one can lose themselves in a track by simply picking a focal point at random. There’s a rococo flair to the record that manifests in tender moments of operatic vocal melisma on “Come Back” and “Heaven’s Found,” but Voices of Gemma is deliberately difficult to wedge into any previously defined genre, in spite of its moments of respectful historical genuflection. Springy, lush, curious and unique, Younge has hatched something fresh and beautiful.

—Christina Gubala