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GARDENS & VILLA

The crystalline, aha moment, if you can picture it, comes after a month of dogged recording in a converted warehouse in the middle of the bleak Midwest winter -- foreign and dissociative terrain for Gardens & Villa, whose members are more accustomed to the warm breezes and surf of their Santa Barbara, California, home. The recording situation itself couldn't have been more ideal for unbridled creativity, as G&V was locked away with acclaimed producer Tim Goldsworthy (Cut Copy, DFA Records, Hercules & Love Affair) and was given full access to gear-nerdery like Sly Stone's custom-built Flickinger recording console (used throughout There's a Riot Goin' On). However, the band had only left the studio space five times during the month, lost in a black hole of music-making. As their time with Goldsworthy drew to a close, with deadlines looming and personal woes creeping in, the band found themselves anxious, stressed out, sad. They needed a natural remedy -- an escape into the wilds of Michigan.