Neggy Gemmy's (FKA Negative Gemini) heartfelt electronic pop is built around duality. In astrology, Geminis represent polarity and though Lindsey French—the producer, singer, and songwriter behind the name—is an upbeat Sagittarius, her music has always been linked to that idea. The Los Angeles-based artist delivers sparkling vocal hooks alongside angst-ridden missives, and floating atmospherics with chest-caving bass. She’s constantly swerving and shapeshifting as her interests and surroundings change: no two releases are quite alike, yet within all of their DNA lies a magnetic songwriting sensibility that makes you want to sing, chant, and scream along with her.
The breadth of French's palette and the emotion in her storytelling are evident in her upcoming third album, whose influences range from rap auteur Travis Scott to maximalist dance acts Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk. The songs are layered and complex—apt accompaniment for her vulnerable introspection. On downtempo-pop opener “California” for example, French’s hopeful lyrics sprawl across weightless electronica with a ground-shaking, hip-hop-tinged bassline. “I just wanna go and never come back,” she sings. “You’re saying slow down, but I just wanna go fast.” It’s a simple sentiment, rendered all the more moving by the colorful backdrop.
“It's easy to make instrumentals,” says French, underselling her meticulous approach to the craft, “but it’s challenging to make a good pop song that makes you feel something.”
But doing exactly that—making art that honestly reveals emotions, and provokes the same in listeners—has long been the goal of her work, even outside of creating music. French runs the Fuglestadphotography label with artist and husband George Clanton, hosts a weekly virtual reality 360 livestream on Twitch from inside a spaceship, and does her own graphic design—all important components for creating a vibrant, fully realized world around sound. And her M.O. as Neggy Gemmy is to take full ownership of her music, writing and producing 100% solo. “I'm the only one that will do it like I would,” she says.
Neggy Gemmy was born from movement. She spent her childhood hopping around the South from Louisiana to Texas, then Kentucky, and finally Virginia for her father’s work. Songwriting was how French, a self-described introvert, felt most comfortable expressing herself. In college, she joined a rap group, where she learned how to produce using GarageBand and Logic. It opened up a new skill set with endless possibilities. “I had this idea in my head about how I wanted the whole song to sound,” she recalls. It was an epiphany moment: “Now I have a way to do that.”
When the group disbanded, French continued to produce on her own as Neggy Gemmy. In search of new scenery and inspiration, she relocated to Brooklyn in 2014. She found a home in the local underground electronic scene, a community that echoes through the sweaty club beats and crushing basslines of her 2016 album, Body Work. As ever, she experimented with a vast palette of sounds and moods across the record, but all the songs felt linked in their devotion to the dancefloor—like she was writing with proper sound systems in mind. One of the album’s singles, “You Never Knew,” on which she sings of lost love over icy percussion, offered a turning point in her career when it premiered on the iconic tastemaking blog Gorilla vs. Bear.
Never one to stay still long, French spent the next two years touring on and off while writing her next project, Bad Baby. The EP shifted toward a lo-fi indie rock sound, glowing with the warmth of more analog instruments. French used her introspective songs to extract her deepest, darkest emotions, from the despondence of “Skydiver” to the raw rage of “Innocence.” The project proved that she’s a keen student of whatever genre she touches, no matter how niche. Whether she's digging through the history of liquid drum and bass, the muggy depths of vaporwave, or more straightforward indie rock, she does so with an infectious fandom for the sounds she's working with. “I'm like a sponge,” she explains. “I absorb the things I like about the music that I listen to, and then I try to make the music that I would want to hear."