Anyone feel like a trip to the 1980s? I didn’t think so. No one wants to go back to the days of blinding neon, Aquanet dominance and leg warmers. However, if you are craving a taste without wishing to sacrifice the sonic comforts of the new millennium, look no further than Gardens & Villa.
The music emitting from this quintet hailing from Santa Barbara is a convergence of influences that outwardly make for strange bedfellows. Familiar synthesizers that channel a tongue in cheek head bob will be familiar to children of the 80s, while exacting rhythms and vocals channel a different period. The vocals of Chris Lynch weave in and out of his lower register and into his higher more resonant tones that can be both severe and soothing.
The lyrics contain both natural images and those of another world. There are vast, chill-wave, synth pop strains that allow the listener to get lost in the high tides mentioned in the lyrics. Then all at once the music seems to box you in so that you feel as though you are only seeing it through the porthole of a ship or spacecraft; confined yet aware of the space. The moody ballads are the most articulate in that respect.
Gardens & Villa are a new band, together just a couple of years, it will be exciting to see what direction they take; more of the beachy chill-wave or something a bit more daring.
If you like: Beach House, Best Coast, Cults, Talking Heads
Check out: Gardens & Villa
Feeling brave: Memory Tapes, Yeasayer, Wild Beasts, Broadcast
AI level: Intermediate