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May 7, 2024

Steel Gemini: “Only Freak”

By: Jack Anderson

If you’re a fan of that synth pop section of indie electronica in the ilk of Goldfrapp, Grimes, and CHVRCHES…there’s a relatively recent artist right here in town that’ll absolutely scratch that itch.

And that’s Steel Gemini, the Austin-based project of singer-songwriter-producer Joy Baldwin. Ever since her December 2022 debut, Baldwin’s been a real joy to listen to thanks to everything we mentioned last March. With a brand already as strong as her metal namesake and a standard of quality consistent enough to match, Steel Gemini’s standalones have left us patiently waiting for a fuller collection of tunes.

But that’s in no way meant to knock her sixth single “Only Freak” that just dropped last weekend. Its introductory four-bar coupling of sampled vocals and electric guitar almost misdirects you into thinking the rest’ll sound like The xx. But really, that’s more of an atmospheric backdrop throughout “Only Freak”‘s four minute runtime, where minimalist drum programming, massive bass synths, shimmering pads, and Baldwin’s featherweight vocals end up stealing the show. Safe to say, the only thing freaky about this is if it ended up being Steel Gemini’s sole output of the year.