West London-based singer-songwriter, Jem, presents his debut EP ‘Don’t Let Me Disappear’ a project which incorporates elements of middle-eastern music into his tales of fear and uncertainty.
Jem merges his Alternative Rock inspirations from the ’90s with his Middle Eastern melodies carefully collected from his childhood in Turkey. Jem combines the contemporary Western sounds he collected whilst living in London and pieces them together with his culture, antiquity, and sense of spirituality that lies within his Turkish heritage.
The EP kicks off in style as Jem’s melodic vocal soars with phenomenal control and dynamics on the opener ‘Secrets’. The acoustic bed to the track is brimming with emotion and is later complemented by delicate textures as middle eastern drum sounds carve the rhythm of the track.
Going into the rest of the EP following the opener, was a sense of excitement at what interesting sounds and colour Jem could channel into the project, with his vibrant backstory and cultural roots.
Musically, the remainder of ‘Don’t Let Me Disappear’ leaves a lot to be desired. whilst Jem demonstrates his fantastic vocal and melodic brilliance across almost every track here, the body of cuts such as ‘Lost’ begs for some variation and texture for the first two-thirds, despite an explosive climax to conclude. Suffering the same fate is the closer ‘Do I Wanna Know’ a track that feels thin both lyrically and musically and a track that would benefit greatly from a strong rhythmic element.
Piano driven, eary and theatrical, ‘Paranoia’ is the standout track of the EP, with its bond-like composition and vocal dynamics, The track packs a sense of anticipation and growth as elements are gradually added, climaxing with a falsetto vocal and mesmerising guitar which channels elements of psychedelia and brings depth to this moment of brilliance on the project.
To conclude, ‘Don’t Let Me Disappear’ is a project which sees Jem show his vocal mastery and love for middle eastern textures and sounds. I am, however, left feeling these influences could have been taken that bit further to diversify the tracklist and bring more character to the EP.