Ruby Friedman came up with an intriguing concept for her new album Gem: “What would it sound like if a band from 200 years in the future wanted to do music from the 20th century? What would that sound like? So that’s what it sounds like: It’s an orchestra from the future, doing the past.” The 20th century sound she represents is roots rock, bluesy soul, which suits her deep, textured, rich voice to a tee. Friedman really is one hell of a frontwoman, with a completely unique and transfixing voice laden with passion. Meanwhile, her band storms through a song like “I’m Not Your Friend” with monster riffs and exciting guitar lines that totally make Gem a necessary addition to your music collection.
Friedman tells PopMatters that “the song is a modern day murder ballad that does not waste time with contrition or regret. It’s written from the perspective of a vigilante who takes on the punishing of heinous crimes because he/she feels the justice system is impersonal, inadequate and/or slow. The concept was spurred on by two real life events: one, a seemingly real confession by a Facebook friend/fan in Florida in regards to a rape/murder crime he happened upon and two, the Riverside, CA animal shelter break-in and dog murders. It examines a personal justice code vs institutional justice i.e. the justice system in relation to animal rights or child murder/rape crimes.”