Gem Club is an exclusive society: two people, a piano, and a cello. Vocalist Christopher Barnes sings in a quivering whisper, and these minimal accompaniments assure that their sound never becomes louder than a hush. But the Massachusetts duo s debut EP, Acid and Everything, showed just how much emotional intensity you could pack into compositions so spare, and how much could be suggested with so little. Everything on Breakers, their first full-length, sounds frozen over: icy, quiet, austere. You know that eerie feeling when you find yourself alone in a huge public place that s usually crowded-- maybe a shopping mall or a playing field- but at that moment is totally empty? This record sounds like a sustained version of that feeling. -I Heard the Party- juxtaposes echoing piano chords and a general sense of unease (-No one could have told you / Your body would fail you-) with the refrain -I heard the partys here- floating across the track like the sound of dried up laughter. The word -party- feels so out of place in a song so pensive and lonely that there s something jarring about the experience. The feeling crops up repeatedly on Breakers: a sense of slow-motion detachment, a suggestion that there were signs of life here once, but you ve arrived a couple of hours- or maybe a couple of weeks- too late.