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Picnic, Lightning by Garlands (Review)

The production on the album is top-notch, the instruments sound crisp and clean.

I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic music lately, like the latest from Joy Electric and Autechre (never thought you’d see those two bands in the same sentence, did you?!?). In fact, I think I forgot what guitar-oriented pop sounded like. After wading through all of that ​“out there” music, it was actually a relief to listen to Garlands.

Right from the get go on ​“Bird On The Make,” Garlands plays a very aggressive (in a nice way) power pop. Jangling guitars, breathy vocals, and clean production run throughout all of this. It shouldn’t be a big surprise that fans of Ivy will dig this one, because Andy Chase had a role in mixing this album.

The production on the album is top-notch, the instruments sound crisp and clean. Guitar melodies careen and bounce around. The music doesn’t get too dreamy, which is either a good or bad thing, depending on your opinion. But it never gets too predictable. This is the kind of stuff my roommate, who’s a huge fan of pop music, would go ape over.

To be honest, this is not exactly something I would normally have listened to or purchased, but I was thrown off guard a couple of times. At times, what sounded like your standard ​“pop” fare would suddenly get an undercurrent of something deeper, a bassline reminiscent of a Cure song or a guitar riff that didn’t go quite like I expected. I think that’s what kept me coming back and listening to it time and again, rather than dismissing it.


Read more about Garlands, Mister Records, and Picnic Lightning.

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