It’s not surprising to hear that Santa Barbara-based Gardens & Villa spent a year camped out behind their producer’s studio before laying down this album. It has an otherworldly quality to it; all blissed-out vocals and vintage synth parps, riding on waves of earthy funk and razor sharp electro pop. Their presumably self-imposed genre, ‘galactic fever’, might be a touch OTT (though the driving, cosmic vibes of ‘Spacetime’ just about get there), but it does somehow evoke the peculiar mix of old, current and futuristic. ‘Orange Blossom’’s sensual bass line and impish, bright falsetto – not to mention the playfully filthy lyrics – is a highlight, while the Casio-tangled acoustic guitar and winding, gentle percussion of ‘Neon Dove’ is the perfect closer. It seems that the uniqueness of its conception has made this a truly unique record.

By Polly Rappaport

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