I first came to learn of Jemma when my friend Josh Gaffin at WSTQ in West Virginia spun “Helen is a Reptile”, a blistering tale of mental confusion fused with a sort of stony peculiarity. The ridiculously NSFW video finds Jemma reveling in the mundane routine of a janitorial gig; or perhaps she’s just cleaning her own bathroom. She spies her reflection in the dirty water. The toilet contains a face sticking its pink tongue out at her. Soon she morphs into a slickly clad rock star, a video move that would be generic in most hands but is done with such a naive relish it manages to overcome, a lower budget Purple Rain vibe perhaps. She may make you wince with the visuals, but the song is a Grade A swooner.
Her vocal capacity truly shines on “Small Town Boy” which carries an unhurried tempo combined with Robert Smith skeletal guitar lines. The beat rocks steady all under a lush surface canopy. Her golden hued voice elevates the listener to distorted, yet bolstering emotive domicile. I feel as if she was commandeered from the ’90s.
Featuring clear-as-a-bell guitars with psychedelic overtones and huskily hypnotic vocals, tracks such as “Black Rain”, “Heaven on a Plate”, “Find a Place”, and “Helen is a Reptile” are all about worlds unknown, secret agendas, anxiety, and apathy, a combination of new wave and psych that somehow form a stomping, dynamic glam-rock.
Their albums: Someone Else to Blame, Heaven on a Plate, Find a Place, and Helen is a Reptile seem to work, from beginning to end, as a four-part non-linear story. I could bump all four of these in order any day of the week.
Every day, this writer listens to new music, new bands. Not many make the playlist. All of Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something’s songs have made my playlist.
This group makes me wish I lived in London.