“The title and lyrics of ‘Younger’ are a metaphor for healing,” says Palm Springs, CA based singer-songwriter Jen Wood. “By healing and undoing damage, you are returning to your younger inner child,” she adds. Alongside former Seattle electronic musician Ted Chen (now based in Sebastopol, CA), GEMZ is a new dreamy synthpop project the two conceptualized that has nods to the nostalgic pulsating electronic echoes of The Postal Service for which she lent vocals. “Younger” is the duo’s first proper single release and Chen says even though the initial ideas came pretty quickly, the process to final production took time to mature, shift and evolve: “in many ways mirroring our own lives, and in that way, it has been a beautiful and honest reflection of GEMZ.”

Originating as a voice memo that she stored with other song ideas back in 2017, “Younger” was kept untouched in “The Vault” until 2022 when she re-invited Ted to peruse her ideas for potential material.  “When I listened to Jen’s voice memo of ‘Younger’ for the first time [in 2017], I could practically hear its final production,” he lauds. “The lyrics and melody inspired such a vivid image and energy in my mind. I wanted to evoke a space that felt like an infinite loop, with sounds and textures appearing in and out from the edges – like, what would happen if you were listening to this song while time traveling.” After picking back up on the song in 2022, it finally began to take shape and Jen’s excitement grew, saying she was “blown away” and “beyond delighted” with the “magical ideas” he added to her little gem of a song. “This was a slow process of Ted and me building this song out, bit by bit, with thoughtfulness, love, and attention towards cultivating the sincerest, most epic, energetic signature. Taking our time to grow this song was a beautiful process and I really hope that people who hear it will truly enjoy the experience.”

The song is about “Loving life again, through the eyes and spirit of your younger self, before all the fucked-up shit happened to you,” she adds. “When we do the work and heal, it brings us back to the innocence and wisdom of a child. The pure heart of a younger version of yourself never dies.”

As a solo artist, Jen has put out nine indie releases between 1993 and 2014, while taking a short diversion in 2003 to join The Postal Service as guest vocalist on its debut album Give Up (she dueted with Ben Gibbard on “Nothing Better” and provided backing vocals on “Such Great Heights“) and also performed with them at select live shows.

Ted Chen has been a part of a range of Seattle-based indie projects including an electro-pop band he started with his sister called CMYK (a.k.a. The Long Ranger) from 2004 – 2010 who became a go-to opener for many of their indie music heroes that toured through the city like The Go! Team, Jamie Lidell, Digitalism, Tegan and Sara, and Ghostland Observatory, to name a few. In 2004, he was signed to Delicious Label with indie rock band The Stereo Future.


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