Reviews Gardens & Villa Self Titled

Gardens & Villa

Self Titled

Gardens & Villa hail from the Santa Barbara area and consists of members Chris Lynch, Adam Rasmussen, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop and Dusty Ineman. They derived the band name from the location of their house on Villa Street which had a garden that they tended to. Their debut album Gardens & Villa was released on the Secretly Canadian label and since the release they have been making their presence known. After highly successful shows at SXSW and playing in front of huge crowds at Coachella earlier this year, they are currently touring the US and preparing new music for their next release.

The album has a very heavy alt-pop sound driving songs such as "Black Hills" and "Cruise Ship" with synth and drum machines leading the listener through their stories. They are proud of the music they create and made a pact that whatever sounds they have on their recordings they will fully recreate live.

Songs like “Thorn Castles” and “Spacetime” are perfect examples of their creativity even utilizing an Indian Bansuri – a flute like instrument in the single “Orange Blossom”. Lyrically there are some spacey psychedelic driven gems like the aforementioned “Spacetime”

YOU FOUND NO REASON TO ABANDON THE MONASTIC LIFE
I FOUND A LOVER WHO WILL ALWAYS ELEVATE MY MIND
WHEN SHE SPEAKS OF SPACE AND TIME
SHE IS ALWAYS AT THE NICK OF TIME
YOU FOUND ME LYING IN THE GROVE WHERE THE SERPENTS LIKE
I ASKED IF I COULD MAKE IT WITH THE ONE WITH THE ANGEL EYES
WHEN SHE SPEAKS SHE TELLS NO LIE AND SHE'S ALWAYS AT THE NICK OF TIME
SPACE TIME
REALIZE I AM THE SCULPTOR

The tune “Chemtrails” is another trippy flight with lyrics like:

IN THE MARMALADE SKY
FLOWER PETALS ON THE HIGHWAYS
WHERE JETS FLY

The song “Star Fire Power” is one of the best on the record and sounds like a blend of Human League and The Pixies.

ABANDON YOURSELF ABANDON YOUR HEALTH
I'LL BE YOUR PHYSICIAN
I'LL BE YOUR PRESCRIPTION
I'LL BE YOUR HOUSE KEEPER AND YOUR WEALTH
LIKE A MIRROR AND THE SUN
WE'LL BE FOLLOWING OUR INTUITION
TO FRUITION

Other songs on the album include the lilting “Sunday Morning” followed by “Carrizo Plain” and “Neon Dove” all of which hold the listener’s attention until the end; musically this is one of the more technical bands around right now. They know how to generate and incorporate different synthetic and organic sounds then blend it all into a psychedelic celebration of life. The album comes highly recommended as does their live show.

8.0 / 10Scott Wilkinson
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Tor Johnson Records
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8.0 / 10

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