Saturday, April 13, 2013

SWL #15: Golden Gardens, "Transparent Things"

Golden Gardens’ 2012 release, How Brave the Hunted Wolves, is really lovely; in fact it is so lovely that I had a bit of trouble deciding which song to showcase here. Of course with Creation Records and vintage 4AD fervor at an all time high there are plenty of listenable songs out there, but few acts are able to sculpt their work into a listenable full-length. Over the course of their 3+ year tenure in the Seattle music scene, Gregg Alexander Joseph Neville and Aubrey Rachel Violet Bramble have developed a distinct and expansive sound that has allowed them to do just that, and “Transparent Things”, the song I finally settled on, is a good example of why. It has all the right fixins’ (e.g. largely indecipherable vocals as instrumentation, reverb and tremolo-heavy guitar, a post-punk style bassline anchoring the percussion, etc), but nothing ever sounds forced or hokey. Instead, Bramble’s warm and expressive vocals and the guitar work remain the focus of the piece, and are accentuated, but never upstaged by a very light touch of synth (lots of bands screw up here by hitting you over the head with it). You can grab How Brave the Hunted Wolves on bandcamp, or various shops around town (Sonic Boom in Ballard and Everyday Music and Capitol Hill have copies). Also, Neon Sigh is slated to release their new EP in June as well as a reissue of their 2011 record, Between the Siren and the Amulet, sometime this year. You can see them with Snowdrift on the 28th of this month (April) at the Sunset.

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