Not satisfied with songwriting and guitar-playing for Bella Union’s Landshapes, Jemma Freeman has hitched her wagon to a Cosmic Something and put together a four track EP, showcasing her dream-pop view of various corners of the world. For those familiar with Freeman’s work with Landshapes’ pysch-rock explorations of earthy magick, the guitarist’s solo work is perhaps a more sonorous, spacey departure – albeit with her familiar guitar style.
The EP’s title track kicks things into gear. Freeman’s laconic verse vocals sit high above an overdriven garage beat, interspersed with flecks of bleepy-guitar, before slipping into some higher notes for its chorus. With the song’s lyrical criticisms ringing in your ears, the effect is rather like Cait Le Bon and Courtney Barnett crossing swords above a pub in Hackney.
Second track ‘Black Rain’ is slower, but hypnotically so, as a gently lilting guitar line wrests for control with a flash of strings, before exploding with a flurry in the middle eight. The follower, ‘Kopenhagen’, is a little more real-world, depicting the Danish capital with a ‘so-so’ quality – so much so that it verges on the eerie. The sense of the oddity amongst the mundane is a little bit Bowie, as is final track, ‘The Visitor’. A sombre, string-laden ballad about being on the outside of a disaffected world, the closer is an ideal final showcase of Freeman’s abilities, her voice echoing into the onrushing vacuum of feedback.
As debut solo EPs go, this is the way to do it. A multi-faceted, kaleidoscopic journey in just four tracks, released on a custard-yellow cassette. Cosmic or otherwise, Jemma Freeman’s certainly onto something…
Someone Else To Blame, the upcoming EP from Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something, is out 20th October. And you can celebrate its release by coming along to see her live for Get In Her Ears live at the Amersham Arms that night!