Following up her collaborative EP ‘FOMO’ with performance poet Luke Wright, Gemma Cullingford presents another 4 track offering ‘The Komiza Project’.

It is the soundtrack to her lovely 25 minute short film ‘Home’ which comprises of Super 8 cine footage from between 1974 to 1983 assembled by Gemma Cullingford of her parents from their late teens through to their early 30s in East Anglia, Italy and Switzerland, with cameos from her grandparents, uncles and aunties, brother, friends and pet cat Beans.

The songs themselves date back to 2012 as compositions co-written with Liam Capper-Starr for her first band KOMIZA who released just one EP ‘Early Hours’ in 2014. Taking a step back from the sequencer-assisted dance friendly tunes of her two solo albums ‘Let Me Speak’ and ‘Tongue Tied’, ‘The Komiza Project’ captures Cullingford’s relationship break-up haziness of the time with observational lyrics by Capper-Starr.

The glorious melancholy of ‘Early Hours’ is a synth-laden song of wanting straight out of the Julee Cruise / Angelo Badalamenti / David Lynch songbook. Embroiled in hurt but less direct, ‘Hurry Home’ gazes more to the floor with its shimmering wall of sound and airy vulnerable vocal in the vein of Sarah Cracknell.

‘Ashes’ brings in a subtle bounce and a hint of optimism as part of the emotional recovery with the wonderful synth strings doing a great job of brightening the light at the end of the tunnel. Beginning like a SAINT ETIENNE acoustic ballad, ‘Battle Sighs’ closes with an acceptance to let things go and move on as more of those icy but beautiful synth strings take hold.

As accompaniment to the ‘Home’ film, the personal ethereal songs on ‘The Komiza Project’ make a perfect backdrop to ‘A Norfolk Love Story’ with their ghostly but nostalgic dreamlike qualities complimented by soft wispy vocals. It all fits wonderfully well together despite the seperate components having been made decades apart.

‘The Komiza Project’ is released by Shake! Shake! Records as a 12” vinyl EP in an individually hand numbered plain white sleeve with a unique 6”x4” photograph taken from the ‘Home’ film on 20 April 2024 for Record Store Day 2024 and digital formats on 27 April 2024

Text by Chi Ming Lai
15 April 2024