Having released some attention-grabbing singles in the last couple of years, Leeds-based ‘ghetto goth’ artist Gemini Aaliyah comes into 2022 with the wind in her sails. Her first move is to release a new single called “Moonrise”, and she says about it:
“My life through my eyes is like a fucked up fairy tale where the ghetto meets the goth girl. This song feels like the beginning of that story. The lyrics of the song first describe my own death, like the death of parts of me I want to let go of ‘I gave up gave in, now the ground is just feeding on my skin’ – the song’s main purpose is to talk about the empowering energy that comes with rebirth, like the moon rising, bringing light to darkness and a strong female energy – I think more strong feminine energy is what we need in the world.”
The bouncing guitar and drum combo that underpins “Moonrise” immediately provokes comparisons to Nilüfer Yanya, but Gemini Aaliyah quickly takes the song off on her own path through a luminous graveyard of possibility. She seems calm as she comes to accept the dissolution of her former self and the walls closing in, cannily lulling us into a false sense of security before delivering a series of killer blows. By the second verse of “Moonrise”, greater depth, verve and atmosphere added to the production, there’s poise in her admission of fucking up – like she’s found some perverse power in that. She can feel “the ground is just feeding on my skin”, but she’s already looking beyond that, to the next version of herself – darker but stronger, ready to blast through the suffering and find her true purpose on the other side.