The Gems are a post-punk trio hailing from Long Beach, CA. The group consists of Thurston Day, Michael Faust and Jakob Sorensen. They’ve made a name for themselves locally by playing small gigs mostly in Long Beach/Orange County venues like The Gaslamp, DiPiazza’s and The Chain Reaction. They’ve also opened for post-punk acts like Priests and mainstream indie rock group Franz Ferdinand at The Wiltern.
While they may not yet be a household name in the post-punk/new wave world, their unique sound and catchy dark wave songs are definitely worth the attention of your ears. The group have yet to produce a full-length album, but have one EP and five singles. And while there’s little information to be found about The Gems on the world wide web, they have all their singles on Spotify and Bandcamp, as well as a small following on Instagram.
Their latest single “Solitaire” was released on February 14 of 2020. The song brings to mind groups like Interpol and Black Marble. It’s dark and dreamy, with lyrics about love lost (appropriately for Valentine’s Day) such as “are you lonely / like me.”
Take a listen to “Solitaire” here:
Their 2019 single “Stranger Than Paradise” brings to mind a darker version of The Strokes, at least in the vocals. The single was released on October 1, 2019. Lyrics like “I’ll take my shot anyway / You lift me up don’t let me down / You got this look on your face / And it’s stranger than paradise” speak to the youthful essence of the group, and paints a picture of a young man trying to hit on a girl at a party.
Listen to “Stronger Than Paradise” here:
Their 2017 Secret Fires EP definitely has more of a surf-rock and punk sound. “Cat Call” is a song off the EP and is a straight up surf jam. The song brings to mind bands with a dark wave twist like The Horrors.
Take a listen to “Cat Call” here: