CD Gardens & Villa [Digipak] (CD 7048898),
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Gardens & Villa [Digipak]

  • 1. Black Hills
    2. Cruise Ship
    3. Thorn Castles
    4. Orange Blossom
    5. Spacetime
    6. Chemtrails
    7. Star Fire Power
    8. Sunday Morning
    9. Carrizo Plain
    10. Neon Dove
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): SC 235

  • Credits
    ProducerRichard Swift

    Photographer: Dustin Damron.
    After recording in Starfucker's home city of Portland, Oregon, Gardens & Villa released their debut album on Yeasayer's label Secretly Canadian, and coincidentally, Gardens & Villa sound a lot like a cross between those two groups. Similarly, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop, Adam Rasmussen, and Chris Lynch make warm indie pop with airy falsettos and retro synths. It's a tranquil listen, even when a picnic song like the chillwavey "Orange Blossom," with its pseudo-sexy hook "Think of me like a swarm of bees/Circling around your knees/To pollinate means ecstasy," gives way into the chugging acoustics of "Thorn Castles," a jam that's brisk enough for a jog on the beach. References to the outdoors are peppered all over the album -- from "Black Hills" to "Carrizo Plain"-- and this naturalist theme, combined with the digital production, gives the record a nice sense of balance, even if it sometimes lacks originality. ~ Jason Lymangrover

  • Critic Reviews
    Alternative Press (p.114) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "With singer Chris Lynch adding clear, soothing words to the charming, keyboard-based arrangements, it's easy to feel the urge to prop up your feet."
    CMJ - "'Black Hills' and 'Cruise Ship' are relatively down-tempo, but they're built around strong grooves and vocal phrasings that make them an effective one-two opening punch."
    Q (Magazine) (p.110) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "This debut is a blissfully drifting collection of synth-led -- and flute-flecked -- songcraft.'
    Pitchfork (Website) - "[T]hey're keen on playing up the artificial qualities of their music, foregrounding synthesizers and mechanized, metronomic rhythms to create a particular hybrid of 1960s and 80s sensibilities."
    Uncut (magazine) (p.89) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he highlights are probably 'Chemtrails,' a wicked fuzz of gospel narco-bliss, and 'Sunday Morning,' a smacked-up take on 'Penny Lane.'"
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