I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of the whole dreamy beach pop that’s sprung up in the indie world over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong—most of it’s far from offensive. In fact, most of it could use a bit of an edge; something you can grab on to; a hook to reel you in or a bright spark that would set it all apart from…well, all the other dreamy beach pop out there.
Santa-Barbara-based Gardens + Villa doesn’t fit exactly into that pigeonhole, but, from the first listen, you get a sense that they share a lot of the same traits as bands who do—sparse, dreamy washes of music accented more than held up by tight, bright drums and sprawling bass lines. All this is tied together with clean, slow-moving lyrics and pleasantly catchy and smooth synths. G+V’s debut, self-titled album came out this summer and, though it’s songs didn’t take hold of me and throttle me with awesomeness, they’ve had a significant slow burn that’s led to an undeniable love of their music. And doesn’t that, in the end, lead to longer-term appreciation of a band’s music—not the calculated hooks that you get sick of after 50 listens, but the fine craftsmanship of a solid, lovely song?
This week’s Song of the Week, “Black Hills,” is a perfect example of just that. You may or may not be wowed from the start, but it just keeps you coming back, making you want to listen to it again and again and again….
You can order Gardens & Villa’s full-length CD or LP through their label, Secretly Canadian, and even listen to and download two other tracks form the album there. They’ll be playing Glasslands in Brooklyn at the end of the month and doing an early show at the Mercury Lounge October 1st. Along with a bunch of non-New-York dates, I assume.