Gemma Ray


Island Fire Bronze Rat Records ***

It’s not every day that you hear of an artist who performs with a carving knife tucked into the neck of her guitar, but Gemma Ray is not your everyday artist. True, a host of comparisons arise after hearing the Londoner’s third album; Fire House adds a dash of elegant Jesca Hoop eeriness, Rescue Me includes a sprinkling of Bic Runga’s honey-coated indie-
pop, and there’s even a pinch of Nancy Sinatra on the rock ’n’ roll jukebox shimmer of Runaway. Yet despite the parallels, Ray’s dreamy world is entirely her own, even when she’s ably assisted on her brace of whimsically theatrical Sparks covers by the Mael brothers themselves. An offbeat creation that’s admittedly a little too try-hard in places, this is nonetheless an absorbing and enjoyably peculiar listen. See  LAUREN MURPHY

Download tracks: Runaway, Eaten by the Monster of Love