Today, Folk N Rock is excited to bring you the full album premiere of UK singer and songwriter Gemma Ray’s latest release, “Gemma Ray & The Death Bell Gang”. This ninth album marks a departure from her previous work, and is a sample-based, electronic record that was created in collaboration with sound designer Ralf Goldkind and features guest musicians Kristof Hahn of the Swans and Andy Zammit. You can pick up your copy now at the following link
The album is described as a hard-edged experiment in cinematic electronica, with Gemma’s signature voice and harmonies at the forefront. The songs explore themes of death, loss and longing, and the album was created with the guiding principle of “no happy shit”. From the funereal “Procession” to the automaton-pop of “The Point That Tears” and the tender “Howling”, the album is a journey through a sonic landscape that is both epic and simple.
“Gemma Ray & The Death Bell Gang” is a departure from her usual oeuvre, it is an electronic and sample-based record that is both a sonic departure and a difference in process. Evolving without her previous tools and parameters, the record sprang from a visit to the studio of her neighbor, again in Tempelhof Flughafen , sound designer Ralf Goldkind.
“ I just went in for a cup of tea, as my studio is now in the same building”, says Gemma. Conversations merged into Gemma collecting sounds and sending them to Ralf, and vice versa. “Not field recordings, but vocal recordings on the phone and recordings of recordings”. They ended up with warped, bent and digitally battered guitars, contorted jams, destroyed signals, and a canvas for new songs to emerge.
The album is available on digital platforms as well as limited vinyl editions, including a splatter and recycled eco-mix, which includes an exclusive poster pullout by painter Deryk Thomas. In addition to the album release, visualizers for two of the songs, “Procession” and “Howling”, have been released, giving fans a taste of the experimental and cinematic nature of the album.
Gemma Ray has a reputation as an independent maverick in the international underground music scene and has collaborated with a variety of artists such as Sparks, Suicide’s Alan Vega, Howe Gelb, and Fiona Brice. She has also performed and recorded with Germany’s Filmorchester Babelsberg and was a part of the Can Projekt, a celebration of the krautrock pioneers Can, at Berlin’s Volksbühne Theatre.
“Gemma Ray & The Death Bell Gang” is very much an exciting and experimental departure for the artist and is sure to be a standout release in the electronic and underground music scene. Be sure to check out the album on all digital platforms.