Gardens & Villa are a warm spring wind up your pant leg on the first late night stoney bike ride of the year. Sent to us not so long ago by producer Richard Swift, these tunes whipped around every head in the office. Now, let thy own head be whipped around. We’ve got Gardens & Villa’s self-titled debut set to drop July 5.
In the year of the saxophone, Gardens & Villa gives us the flute. And along the way, the Santa Barbara band effectively wipes clear the vaseline from the murky bedroom funk of recent days. G&V bang out instant classics — each crystal clear and immaculate, but no less sweeping or languid. Their debut is a youthful exploration of just how opulent and pop starkness can go. It also leaves an impression of California in the way that Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series or the pool party scene from The Graduate both do, always sensed more than stated outright.
At Swift’s Oregon studio in Summer 2010, they put some sand in the silk sheets of new wave (“Black Hills”) and pop some translucent funk (“Orange Blossom”). There’s also a level of effortless class maintained across the whole set. Each and every lush little gem explores the wonderful mystery between intuition and proficiency, between tension and repose.
The G&V gang — Chris Lynch, Adam Rasmussen, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop and Dusty Ineman — are right now on a tour of the US. Check out the dates HERE and then, take all your friends with you.
When Damien Jurado was on tour this past fall with Shearwater, he stopped by the Washington, DC NPR Headquarters to perform a magnificent Tiny Desk concert, including Saint Bartlett stand outs “Cloudy Shoes,” “Arkansas” and “Beacon Hill” and the unreleased tune “Newspaper Gown.”
The All Songs Considered crew (who we found out are longtime Damien fans!) have always been able to capture the essence of a musician through this ongoing series, given the pure intimacy and simplicity. Stephen Thompson writes:
This one is special: Jurado has spent the last decade churning out albums of raw, time-worn, authentically graceful music, and he’s always possessed a seemingly innate gift for capturing the intricacies of human behavior.
We recently gave you the heads up on Damien’s forthcoming 10th LP and working with Richard Swift again. Damien Begins touring in March with Viva Voce, then supports John Vanderslice in May. All info on those dates and new recording can be found here.
We also have one more Damien news item we’d like to fill you in on: tonight’s episode of House will feature “Everything Trying.” We are told this is going to be a particularly heart-wrenching scene, as you could imagine if you’re familiar with the song.
This lovely photo of Damien Jurado & Richard Swift comes to us via the blog of Damien’s wife Sarah Jurado. Visit her blog post HERE to read about the start of Damien’s tenth record and see more gorgeous photographs of a show at Portland, OR venue Woods, where these two SC vets played alongside members of Vetiver and Fruit Bats this past weekend.
Damien will be on an extensive March-May tour, beginning with West Coast and Southern dates (SXSW included!) with Viva Voce, followed by an April Scandinavian stint, then supporting John Vanderslice throughout the Midwest and East Coast.
Check the full tour, after the jump!
Richard Swift has a Tumblr, and it’s just the best. Cryptic and soulful, it’s the perfect gateway to his unique talent and aesthetic. Swift’s amazing visual work fills much of the space. Mostly greyscale and many collage-based, the pieces have a foot firmly set in outsider art. The other foot is stomping a kick-drum. Yesterday morning, we awoke to find this piece — “Swanson” — at the top of the page. We have two Swansons in the SC office. Also, see Swift’s badass “Walt Wolfman” series.
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