Gem Club’s ‘In Roses’ gets album release show at MFA, a setting worthy of its art
There’s something appropriate about putting on a release show for Gem Club’s second album, “In Roses,” in the Remis Auditorium at Boston’s Museum of Fine Art.
The Somerville band’s music is publicized appropriately as intimate, graceful and filled with melancholy, and there’s a quality to it as arresting as the finest visual art – something that demands a listen in as near silence as possible so your ear can take in the subtlest note, just as your eye can search an exceptional painting for hours searching out nuance and appreciating technique.
“In Roses,” due Jan. 28 on the Hardly Art label, took the trio making up Gem Club – singer/pianist Christopher Barnes and collaborators cellist Kristen Drymala and vocalist Ieva Berberian – to San Francisco for a month to work with arranger and conductor Minna Choi and record with John Vanderslice. Gem Club says the collaboration resulted in a more expansive and majestic sound, with “spacious, grand flourishes” such as church choir voices and reverberating drumbeats, all without losing the band’s essential intimacy.
Choi “helped reshape the new songs in fresh and unimagined ways,” Barnes said.
Two tracks from “In Roses” have been posted so far, including “Polly”:
And “Hypericum,” which was featured on NPR’s “All Songs Considered”:
The 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 show includes the work of videographer Brianna Olson and a set from Nat Baldwin of Dirty Projectors (and a guest artist on Grizzly Bear’s “Shields” and Vampire Weekend’s “Contra”) who has a solo album coming this year.
Tickets are $20, or $16 for MFA members, seniors and students, and another $5 buys guaranteed premium seating in the first three rows of the auditorium. Tickets can also be ordered by phone at (800) 440-6975 or in person at the museum’s ticket desks.