Gardens & Villa - Album Review

Album Review: Gardens & Villa


I haven’t done an album review for a number of weeks, but to get back into the swing of things I thought I would review the self titled album by Gardens & Villa. If you haven’t heard of them then you will be most glad you did.

This album has been a real pleasant surprise and an album that keeps on offering.  With a wave like top tapping pulse running throughout the album, Gardens And Villa seem to have brought a strong piece of razor sharp electro pop to the table and an album that brings out hints of something old, something current and something futuristic about it. There are huge flavourings of vintage synth and vibraphone’s that seem to be coming back in droves with this album, yet this isn’t as gaudy as it might sound, in fact it adds something  very special and unique to the album. We get a kaleidoscope of elements, with inspiration seemingly coming from Bowie, REM and Blur and the Arcade Fire sounding Black Hills. Sadly there are a few songs that lack any real punch with the key exceptions being ‘Spacetime’, ‘Black Hills’ and ‘Carrizo Plain’ with the latter having hints of the very popular physacdelic folk craze we have seen of late.                       

Taking a deeper look into some of the songs, such as ‘Backhills’ which is the album opener, we hear the great range of vocals in this track, which works beautifully with the echoing pulse of the song. Added to this we get the great vibraphones adding beautiful depth and a full on classic semi-explosive chorus. Taking a look at ‘Spacetime’ we get the feeling it could be something produced by The Love Language, with its upbeat vintage spirit and a track worthy of vinyl. With the chorus we get an almost thunderbirds echo of “space, time” over the track and takes us back to the space craze of yesteryear. The beat is another solid, steady one with great bass flexes and ripples; the song ends gently fading out to solo panpipes. ‘Carrizo Plain’ has huge hints of fleet foxes, with great guitar plucks and dreamy melodies over the top of deep drums, and the return of the o so great fisher price xylophone. The album is certainly worth ’Carrizo Plain’ alone and is most certainly the top track.

If there was a crash course in 80’s brit pop these guys where certainly on it, although not a brilliant album it is certainly one that deserves a listen and a good strong debut. Watch this space.

Rating: 3.5/5


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Black Hills by Gardens & Villa from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.


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