Country of origin:
Type of music generally:
Most recent release, Down to Earth (2008)
Dido, Sia Furler, or perhaps a groovier Ephemera. (email@example.com)
Own and co-written
Jem (the singer, not the cartoon) has been featured quite prominently on the LA station KCRW. She's pretty good. She's probably in the same vein as Frou Frou or Dido for those who like that sort of thing. Think radio-friendly trip hop. Her current claim to fame is that she recorded with Guy Stigsworth (Madonna, Björk, and of course, Frou Frou) and cowrote a song with him. He took that song and then it ended up on Madonna's American Life CD, and was her third single "Nothing Fails." It's also my favorite song on the album. Well okay, it's the only song that I like on the album really, so when I found out that Jem wrote it, I had to track her down. And she's not bad. I've sampled sounds pretty tasty. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Recommended first album:
2003—ATO Records—314 558 866-2
If there is one artist that couldn't be more 'ecto' it's probably Jem, a UK singer-songwriter that KCRW pretty much hand-delivered to ATO Records. I've been corresponding with her for the last year about her work because I absolutely think she's brilliant. A debut EP of songs came out this past week with the catchy lead track "They." She'll no doubt be compared to Dido and Beth Orton but, personally, I think she's more in line with Sia Furler or perhaps a groovier Ephemera. (email@example.com)
2004—ATO Records—ATO0016 88088-21519-2
Yoad Nevo—electric, acoustic, and Spanish guitars, gremlin, bass, keyboards, percussion, mini harp, double bass, banjo, sitar, recorder, water bottle, arrangements
Yoad Nevo, Jem, Ge-ology
When this album came out I listened to it repeatedly, loving every song. Then the enthusiasm started to die down. But every time I pull out this disc, I fall in love with it all over again. There's something so fresh about Jem's combination of pop and trip-hop. I find it completely infectious. The lyrics are pretty simple, but there are all these great grooves and hooks. It's fun and joyful without being insipid. She has a bit of Caribbean flair on "Wish I" and more of a hard rock edge on "24." She slows down a bit on "Finally Woken," "Missing You," "Flying High," and shows a softer side on "Stay Now." It's all good, but no question, it's the up-beat songs that make me tap my toes and sing and dance along. (JoAnn Whetsell)
Jeff Bass—guitar, bass, keyboards and drum programming
Jeff Bass (1, 2, 5, 8); Lester Mendez (3, 4, 7, 12); Mike Bradford (6, 10, 11); Greg Kurstin (9); additional production by Jem
light but still good stuff. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jem's November 20, 2003 and July 13, 2004 performances on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic are archived at www.kcrw.org
Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.
DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.
|Entry last updated 2012-01-15 20:57:53.
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