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Gemma Ray's new album, 'Milk For Your Motors', brings together dark pop tones, goth folk and noir with a more conventional girl-group aesthetic, recalling a sound championed by Marissa Nadler and Zola Jesus. 



The Wheel Shake Baby Shake Buckle Up When I Kissed You The Right Thing Did Me Wrong Long Live This Life Desoto Waving At Mirrors Motorbike Out in the Rain Rubbing Out Your Name Old Love You Changed Me

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Milk For Your Motors by Gemma Ray
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7/10 Mike Staff review, 21 August 2014

Gemma Ray is back this week with a new album of her gothic folk/pop-noir smoothness on Bronze Rat. She's established herself over the last few years as a reliable disher-out of dark, brooding pop from the same school of simple, understated songwriting as Marissa Nadler or a less strident Anna Calvi, but with some tasteful soul/girl-group touches and interesting arrangements to help imprint her own personality on things.

'Milk For Your Motors' is another strong collection, although perhaps a little more introspective and less immediate than some of her earlier work. Our hard-to-please post-it gremlin's contribution says "Kinda ok...not as good as her last", but while some tracks do drift by a little uneventfully you don't have to dig far to find some real gems.

My favourite here is the sprawling 'Motorbike', which opens with some almost religious-sounding harmonies driven along by a pulsating krautrock drumbeat and filthily buzzing bassline, building the tension subtly with swells of organ to a surging conclusion full of wobbly backwards tape weirdness and Alan Vega-ish interjections from a boy vocalist. As an album I do think it's a little patchy, but perfectly tolerable at its worst and inspired at its best.



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