Lost Chimes is Gemma and Nicky Kirk, an indie-folk duo from north London. The husband and wife team have now joined musical forces after ten years of playing in separate DIY, folk, punk-rock and post-hardcore bands.
Their new captivating self-titled album blends traditional folk with a contemporary twist. The storytelling lyrics, delicate finger-picked guitar and memorable melodies keep your ears enticed from the first track to the last.
Opening track, and first single, ‘Island’ is a soothing track about a mystery island. Gemma’s smooth, crystal clear vocals gently bob over lush and jangly guitar lines like a boat upon the waves, with the second verse painting a beautifully nostalgic picture: “You’ll do a lot of talking and I’ll do a lot of listening and one day the records will come out of their sleeves / the one that has my name on the back and the one that has the secret track, and everything between the backdoor and the sea wall…” The accompanying video of overlaid singing, sea, and birds perfectly complements the musical content, which evokes thoughts of nature and water.
My personal album highlight, ‘Voices’, offers a traditional folk-inspired melody, encompassing a fiddle which weaves around the vocal lines with a waltz-like rhythm. The sparse yet present drum beat gets your foot tapping and gives it a sea shanty feel. Gemma’s vocals may be delicate, yet they emit a strength bringing to mind Pentangle’s Jacqui McShee.
‘Stone Steps’ offers Nicky’s most interesting guitar riff on the album, a melancholic yet hopeful refrain. Gemma’s lullaby vocals in the verses erupt into something more powerful and reminiscent of Delores O’Riordan’s vocal in the chorus. Later on in the song, a spoken word section is introduced, giving your ears a new element to enjoy.
The duo’s cover of Joy Division’s iconic song ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ is both atmospheric and haunting. The finger-style of the guitar combined with the cinematic vocal arrangement does this tricky-to-cover song justice, retaining its sadness and depth whilst adding Lost Chimes’ own spin.