‘They know what drugs you take…they know about your holidays…’ sings Gemma Rogers in the opening verse of ‘Stop’ as she tackles digital surveillance and targeted advertising. After all, it’s pretty hard to escape nowadays. Which is why I’d love to tell you about my amazing new diet product! (Kidding.)
Gemma Rogers – Stop
Gemma Rogers is not a new face to RCM, but definitely embarking on a new phase. Having signed with Tiny Global Productions, the London indie-grunge-pop artist is having a reshuffle ahead of her debut EP release, and this is the leading track.
‘Stop’ is a buzzing ode to digital addiction, with crafted wry lyrics and more than a hint of an Ian Dury Brit-punk edge.
The lyrics are the star here, as Rogers paints a picture of the faceless powers that be ‘searching through your bins’, and opining that ‘they know more about you than your very best mate’. There’s plenty of darkness – ‘swiping on the cracked screen until your fingers bleed’ – but also the occasional moment of sweetness – ‘no negatives, no duplicates, there’s only one of you and us’. Delivered in Rogers’ blunt, semi-spoken vocals, it’s a nice callback to a bit of 70s punk and 90s indie grunge, as she advises us to ‘just stop’ and get off the screens.
A thrumming bassline leads the production, its relentlessness bringing to mind an 8-bit video game. There are sharp beats and some crunchy, distorted effects, but also an unexpected mellow acoustic breakdown in the middle 8. It contains enough quirky interest to keep the ear engaged, and plenty of wry lyrics to tickle the fancy, and it’s another strong release for Gemma Rogers.
Anyone interested in hearing more should also check out her launch gig on the 21st July at Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney.
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Words Eden Tredwell.