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The Beauty of Gemina – Skeleton Dreams Award winner

The Beauty of Gemina
Skeleton Dreams
by Leanne Evans at 19 March 2021, 6:40 PM

Swiss alternative trio, THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA, have indulged their unique style since 2006 and we’ve fallen for them hard. The band have released eight studio albums, achieved top-ten hits in the alternative charts throughout Europe, amassed acclaimed performances at renowned festivals and had sold-out concerts all over the world. THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA are truly one-of-a-kind and their music simultaneously enlightens the mind and masterfully celebrates the aesthetics of the darkness. “Skeleton Dreams” is the band’s latest release and certainly doesn’t bring anything less than an artistic elegance and allure to sadness.

“A Night Like This” softly opens the door of “Skeleton Dreams” with subtilty; Michael’s ethereal vocals immerse you in a captivating world of darkness and beautiful sorrow. The track unveils as an introspective dreamy yet phantasmagorical piece, but with tempo, talking of losing dreams and looking within. The piece sings of “I look in the mirror, it’s all secure”, almost bringing a touch of Sylvia Plath to music, with the mirror being our biggest judgement. Stripped back further, Naked” is the aural embodiment of an atmospheric mood-soaked stunning track, literally laid bare, aloof, with a deliberate detachment and emotionalism in the vocal delivery, yet delicately layered with string arrangements. The beauteous composition conveys a real sense of beguiling fragility throughout, almost akin to the vulnerability of a child, especially fitting with the lullaby feel to the song. The introduction to “Skeleton Dreams” is, undoubtedly, stunning.

THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA have an innate ability to morph and tinker with their sound on the visionary journey “Skeleton Dreams” takes the listener on. One minute, we’re in a dream-like docile state, the next, a playful child-like rush comes over us with “Maybe God knows”, starting as an Americana bluesy groove with its tantalising puckish guitar chords. However, the familiar pensive mood creeps in again with hazy hypnosis and steps-up even further with the NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS feeling “Friends of Mine”, pouring as a haunting and elegiac piece that penetrates. It’s the sort of simplistic composition FRANK TURNER would be comfortable to share, only funereal and raw in tone; “where are you dear friends of mine?”, such a succinct but poignant line. It hurts.

“Skeleton Dreams” isn’t all wallowing sadness; “Resurgence” brings a more upbeat aspect to the album, with some fantastic synth action and electric guitar, as does “Apologise” with its lighter musical tone. “Where Has It All Gone”, is also a welcome addition to the album with a trance vibe and showcases an alternative facet to the band. THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA further challenge their musical limits with a fitting choice of cover of SISTERS OF MERCY’s “Nine While Nine”. The ponderous hybrid of metal and psychedelia, with the incorporation of dance beats, is infectious in the original track. The softness that Michael emulates in THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA’s version creates a contemporary dimension to the composition, pulling through a gentler acoustic and dialled down sonic intrigue. And while we’re talking about highlights of “Skeleton Dreams”, “I Come to Grief” is simply stunning with the gradual layered approach of chords and percussion, as is “Hold on to This Night”, which is beautifully relaxing and nonchalant with sweet piano chords and whispered dulcet vocal lilts.

On the most part, THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA have produced addictively heartsore tracks, and although the heavyhearted allure is resonant throughout, some of the tracks transpire as lugubrious and joyless without the appeal. “Dark Suzanne” has a promising JOHNNY CASH vibe, but quickly descends to blandness and monotony, similarly, “The World Is Going On” is drab with little fascination about the track. Perhaps this quiet disconnect is intentional of the band? After all, THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA expertly deliver ambiguity.

“Skeleton Dreams” is an enigmatic collection of compelling darkness which beautifies the black and celebrates the bittersweet. THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA delight with this dazzlingly haunting album to add to their catalogue of artistically mesmerising melancholy. Profoundly poetic, deeply ruminative mysterious lamentations are delicately decanted into your soul; immerse yourself in mellifluous meditative musings… and drift.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. A Night Like This
2. Naked
3. Maybe God Knows
4. Friends of Mine
5. Resurgence
6. Where Has It All Gone
7. Rainbow Man
8. Dark Suzanne
9. Nine While Nine
10. I Come to Grief
11. Apologise
12. The World Is Going On
13. Hold on to This Night
14. Where Has It All Gone – Desert Mix
Lineup:
Michael Sele – Vocals, guitars, piano, string arrangements
Mac Vinzens – Drums
Andi Zuber – Bass
Guest Philipp Kung – Bass, percussions, keyboards
Record Label: TBOG Music
     


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