London-based Turkish musician Jem returns with his sophomore single – the mysteriously captivating ‘Lost’.
Following up from his first release ‘Secrets’ back in November 2021, this new track once again utilises a heady mix of rich Middle Eastern melodies together with Western contemporary rock stylings – a vivid combination which not only manages to entice the listener, but transport them to another world entirely. A mean feat in just three-and-a-half minutes.
And with a cinematic sound comes a cinematic influence as Jem drew inspiration from the BAFTA and Academy Award winning film ‘The Pianist’ (2002). The singer-songwriter’s story-telling lyricism explores the perspective of a ‘man who lost it all’ against a dark dystopian backdrop. “I am feeling lost, lost, lost”
Talking about the track, Jem states “Feeling lost is a common theme; it is okay to feel like that; there is nothing wrong with it. When I say it out loud, it makes me feel better. I would want people to take this away.”
This catharsis is felt in the vocals, which flow fluently across registers with ease. Intricately layered with emotion, from the soaring highs to the crashing lows, yearning, desperation and pain are all conveyed. There’s a definite tone and delivery reminiscent of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke – and this 90s alt-rock vibe (also heard in the surging electric guitars) blends with the native Middle Eastern instrument Oud to create an almost dreamlike soundscape.
Paired with another stunning visual from the artist to accompany this track, the music video was directed by his older brother Necip Karakas. Set in an ancient church, lit by the gentle glow of candles, Jem is illuminated against the shadowy darkness behind. It’s both striking and minimalistic.
By mixing the music of his roots with those he’s encountered whilst living in London, Jem brings something rare, intriguing, and altogether a bit different to the table. A taster of what to expect perhaps from his forthcoming debut EP ‘Don’t Let Me Disappear’.