RECENT PICK-UPS: Gabriel Garzon-Montano – Jardin

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IS: From my Instgram

The somber, quirky, pop soul album of the year. (audio)

 

I’m not sure why, but I just can’t remember this guy’s name for the life of me. Every time I try to recommend this album to somebody, I have to go to my phone to recall this guy’s name. By the way, I do really recommend this album, as it is one of the more unique album’s I’ve heard in awhile. It’s also a non-hip-hop release from Stones Throw that’s not completely unlistenable, which in of itself is a win for the indie label.

Discogs has this album listed as “psychedelic soul” but I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. Personally, I think “somber, quirky, soul pop” is more on point, but that doesn’t really roll off the tongue now does it. For a Stones Throw release, it’s surprisingly restrained; never going completely off the deep end but never being too traditional at the same time either. Musically, it’s a pretty texturally diverse album, using a variety of percussion, synths, piano, organs that make sure no two songs sound the same.

The one complaint I would levy against the album, even though there isn’t a bad song on here, there just isn’t a song on here as strong as “Crawl”, which is easily the album’s highlight. That song just has an energy to it that is lacking on the rest of the album, especially since the song before “Crawl”, “Long Ears” is the weakest song on the album for me (it’s fine, but it just feels unfinished to my ears). It does have some great moments though: one-two punch of “Trail” into my second favorite track, “Sour Mango” start the album perfectly. I love the slow and lazy soul vibes of “Cantiga” and the off-beat sound of the album’s other single “The Game”. The album closes out strongly too with another great late game track, “My Balloon” before being closed out by the beautifully sweet, “Lullaby”.

So while the album doesn’t quite reach the height of “Crawl” (which will probably make it on to my Top 10 tracks of 2017 this year), it’s still a nice, off-kilter soul album that I do recommend checking out and another solid release of one my all-time favorite labels. Definitely hope to hear more from this guy in the future!

 

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