The duo of Christopher Barnes and Kristen Drymala create ethereally slow burning ditties as Gem Club. With a keyboard and a cello, their songs are cavernous and evoke a sense of longing. Gem Club’s tunes are the perfect soundtrack for a walk on a cold and foreboding beach, which is not surprising that their song “Red Arrow” was featured on the ABC drama, Revenge. Hamptons approved.
For their set at Littlefield, they were joined by vocalist Ieva Berberbian. They quickly gave the thumbs up and started with “Birds” from their self-released six-song EP, Acid and Everything. Taking from both the EP and their full length Breakers, the audience was transported into a dreamy reverie of piano ballads. For the track “Breakers”, Kristen delicately tapped colorful foot bells and Chris lamented “the graceless years are gone”. Chris offered very little chatter between songs, though very thankful for the opportunity to play and open for Califone. One of the few songs he introduced, “Acid and Everything” started somewhat in the vein of Radiohead’s “No Surprises” with its loopy piano keys. The band ended their short 40-minute set with “In Wavelengths”, which has a glorious rendition recorded for a Daytrotter session over the 2011 CMJ festive.
If you haven’t had a chance to witness the slow burn of Gem Club, do yourself a favor and check out their Tiny Desk Concert for NPR’s All Songs Considered. Guaranteed to leave you in a woozy haze.