The Garment District: If You Take Your Magic Slow LP (Night People, 2014)

September 2, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Garment District: If You Take Your Magic Slow LP

The Garment District: If You Take Your Magic Slow LP

Jennifer Baron was in at least two prolific ’90s/’00s indie bands: The Ladybug Transistor (who were affiliated with Elephant 6 and signed to Merge Records) and Saturnine (who I vaguely remember as being more folky and were on labels much smaller than Merge). The Garment District is her newest project and has released a tape on Night People and a 7″ on La Station Radar, and now this LP. Listening to this album, it wouldn’t surprise you to know that it came from an E6 alumni, but it goes in a lot of other directions than her previous bands. There’s retro poppy melodies, vintage keyboards, and some psychedelic aspects, but also some synth-heavy instrumentals that push it more into electronic territory, but they still sound home-recorded and lo-fi. Watch out for the false ending on opener “Secondhand Sunburn”. “Weird Birds and Strange Days” is kind of a drowsy psych instrumental, then “Bell Book and Candle” returns to vocals, with kind a post Pet Sounds/High Llamas sunny day lilt. “Cavendish on Whist” is a curious synth instrumental with some crashy beats and gnome-like pianos and synths. “Miraculous Metal” is a bedroom-disco/space-rock synth/guitar instrumental, which could fit alongside plenty of Bliss Out-era Darla bands (I’m thinking Füxa especially). “Soon We See Green” is another easygoing lo-fi Pet Sounds-y track, and “Song For Remy Charlip” is another curious, somewhat baroque synth instrumental, with flute and harpsichord synth patches and more expansive, washy tones towards the end. “June’s End” gets a bit more uptempo, and seems to change a few times, but not jarringly so; a nice little prog-pop instrumental. “Velvie Woolvine” is a drifty, sunny instrumental with bird sounds (seagulls?) squawking away. “Jonquil Place” ends the album on a jaunty note with another organ-heavy instrumental, which fades out nonchalantly.

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