TRACK PREMIERE: GEMMA CASTRO “LOVE ME BABY (SHINE UR LIGHT)”
photo by leticia gomez
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L.A. singer Gemma Castro—who premiered this haunting video with us last spring—comes to us now with the starkly affecting new song “Love Me Baby (Shine Ur Light)”, a raw and intimate acoustic lament with just enough spacey synthesizer to make her sound somehow even more alone. Those little bleeps and squiggles might put a few more stars in the night sky above her, but it only serves to make the darkness seem even darker. (Maybe that’s why she asks—as other have before her—for more light?)
Unhappily, the story behind “Love Me …” is just as sad as the song. It’s the only survivor of a library of sessions that lived on her laptop, and when the laptop was stolen, she lost everything she’d made except this—only because she’d texted it to a friend. And so “Love Me …” remains, preserved with its rawness and roughness forever only because it was sent as a message. It’s an uncommonly intimate listen, maybe because it never had the chance for a studio workover—but like Sibylle Baier’s home recordings, which were also made especially for her friends, it reveals an uncommon power, too. Castro explains the heart of the song here:
“This whole song is one take, one freestyle. It is about not being scared of the greatness in each of us—not being scared to be there for ourselves. I feel like I’ve spent so long feeling so emotionally unavailable to others and never even realizing that in being that way, I am also emotionally unavailable to myself. I held this song to myself for a year not able to listen to what I was telling myself. My laptop got stolen and this is the one track I had left. This song sits in all that in all that longing. The intro of the song is a conversation between myself, my grandmother, and my mother. My grandmother is extremely emotional, as am I. We are not afraid to cry at any moment. In the recording my mom tells us to stop crying—to be strong and hold it in like she does. I often times feel like I have enough tears to plant a whole garden. I think a lot of that comes from all the people in my lineage who held them in.”
Castro will play a solo set at the Hi-Hat on Thurs., May 30, for this single’s release with Fake Jazz, Wanding Lake, Luke Sweeney (doing an album release) and a Healing Gems DJ Set—get tickets here! And she’ll also have cassette copies of her coming Angeles y Demonios available.