Atmospheric spirit-conjurers, IDES OF GEMINI, released the moon-moving tones of their Carthage/Strange Fruit 7″ via Magic Bullet Records last month in honor of Record Store Day.
Side A begins with the lingering resonances of “Carthage.” Commencing with the doomy, acoustic summoning of souls of a barren world, the band goes full tilt into their eclectic brand of overdriven power and command, charging onward and upward through forest and sky, dragging the doomed, sorrowful carcass of humanity itself into light. Side B offers up one of the most stunning and emotionally stirring covers of “Strange Fruit” ever put to tape. Written as a poem by Abel Meeropol in 1937, and set to music famously by Billie Holiday in 1939, the song stems from Meeropol’s original protest piece against the racial lynchings that marred the early 20th century in America. It has been covered many times over since – including versions by Nina Simone, Lou Rawls, Annie Lennox, Jeff Buckley, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Diana Ross, Tori Amos, and countless others. IDES OF GEMINI dug deep on this one, perfecting a uniquely somber and haunting arrangement the poem/song has simply never seen.
In celebration of this moving piece of history, the band has crafted a haunting visual accompaniment to their reinterpretation of the tune. The solemn video was directed by singer/bassist Sera Timms, also of West Coast dark-psych unit Black Mare, who elaborates, “The first time I ever heard ‘Strange Fruit,’ I was immediately taken by the powerful imagery in the lyrics before I even knew the historical implications of them. Though this song was written as a protest against racism, it seems to me to conjure a deep mournfulness for the violent atrocities that all people continue to commit against one another, with racism being a very potent example…sadly more so today than ever.”
View the poignant clip, hosted by Revolver Magazine, at THIS LOCATION.
And if you missed it, soak in the sonic alchemy of “Carthage,” still streaming at Cvlt Nation at THIS LOCATION.
IDES OF GEMINI features Timms, alongside drummer Kelly Johnston-Gibson and guitarist J. Bennett. The Carthage/Strange Fruit seven-inch is currently available on limited black wax or clear wax HERE. Digital enthusiasts can visit Magic Bullet’s BandCamp page HERE or iTunes HERE.
“The IDES deliver ominous, haunting music, perfect for séances, witches covens, and backyard barbecues with the neighbourhood Goths – think Siouxsie & The Banshees (ca.Join Hands) – meets Dead Can Dance.” – Soundblab.com