Gardens and Vines

00:00 March 24, 2014
By: 2Fik
[Courtesy of Secretly Canadian]

For Dunes, Garden and Villas decided to try to get out of their own element, leaving their Santa Barbara home in order to record the album in the Michigan. The result was an album that exhumes the quiet confidence of a band trying to grow out of its sound. While still reminiscent of the group's first effort, this 5-piece unit's new album has the steady flow club's dance playlist, keeping up with a movement we have seen this past year by the likes of Arcade Fire and Broken Bells. What differentiates Garden and Villas from most synth rock bands is the symmetry of the music. The group is quite comfortable with each other, and this stems from singer songwriter Chris Lynch. Lynch's lyrics give a dark tone to music that is otherwise happy and up-tempo, which is reminiscent of early The Shins albums. In the opening track "Domino," Lynch keeps repeating the line "My days are numbered, I'm falling under, chasing all the dominoes," letting you know right from the get-go the despair that he feels. In "Avalanche," Lynch's lyrics play with beautifully fluid imagery, as he writes about following a love as a ghost after he dies, singing, "Take it real slow and follow your bones, let them shiver when you find me, in the lines of your poems." Lynch also lends his vocals to being backed up beautiful, as in one of the stronger songs on the album, "Chrysanthemums." In "Colony Glen," the band gives you a driving beat, similar to what you would expect to hear from the band College. In the end though, all the music gets stripped down to the deep and introspective vibe that Lynch's lyrics give the music. The album ends with the lyric-less and slow "Love Theme," which makes you want to listen to the album all over again to see what you missed the first time.

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