Gemma Hayes

Night on My Side

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AllMusic Review by

The stateside version of Gemma Hayes' critically hailed debut Night On My Side finds a young artist with impeccable taste. Like Beth Orton, there's a purity behind Hayes' lyrics and a believable beauty behind the music. Produced by Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips) and Hayes' boyfriend, ex-Frames guitarist David Odlum, Night On My Side finds the Irish songbird working with elements of her favorite band, My Bloody Valentine, while crafting a real, passionate rock sound of her own. She plays guitar, but she refuses to be categorized as the next Jewel, and Night On My Side's soft-hued confidence is certain of that. From the blistering haze of "Lucky Haze" to the kaleidoscopic guitar textures of "I Let A Good Thing Go," the shift in songs initially found on the UK album gives new life to Night On My Side. "4:35 a.m." and "Work To A Calm," which were only previously available on European import EPs, are equally loaded with lush space rock fibers while "Evening Sun" (also unavailable on the import version) closes in on Hayes' day and night theme. Night On My Side offers a peace of mind, a soothing feeling that's prominent in Orton's work as well as in Lisa Germano's and Hope Sandoval's material; however, a lingering darkness isn't there. There's an innocence that's like slow dancing at twilight that sets Night On My Side apart from all the rest.

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