Gardens & Villa found themselves in the unlikely locale of Benton Harbor, MI in the middle of winter to record their second full-length, Dunes. With the aid of Sly Stone’s custom Flickinger recording console, acclaimed producer Tim Goldsworthy (Cut Copy, DFA Records, LCD Soundsystem, Hercules & The Love Affair) guided Gardens & Villa until they ultimately emerged with a record beaming with dystopian energy, subconscious lyrics, and uncompromising sincerity. Taking the album name from an inspired trip amidst the frozen sand dunes along Lake Michigan’s icy shore, Dunes shares a clear and evocative vision of where Gardens & Villa’s members have traveled, what they’ve learned and what lies ahead
Gardens & Villa channel all the taut pop precisions of 90s Britpop of bands like Blur (borrowed from the 60s anyhow), and send it through an 80s synth filter both undeniably coastal and modern. It's Spoon's Kill The Moonlight lost in a daydream, but with that same hungry energy. Gardens & Villa may simultaneously pull from Gary Numan, The Kinks and odder prog within one composition. And like a fine sweet tea, it's made just that right kind of sugary — though even the most upbeat tunes have an undercurrent of the bittersweet and the lost at heart.
In 2010, Gardens & Villa traveled to Oregon to record their debut with visionary, vibemaster and labelmate Richard Swfit. Together, they put some sand in the sheets of new wave ("Black Hills") and pop some translucent funk ("Orange Blossom"). There's also a level of effortless class maintained across the whole set. Each and every lush little gem explores the wonderful mystery between intuition and proficiency, between tension and repose.
Gardens & Villa are Chris Lynch, Adam Rasmussen, Levi Hayden, Shane McKillop and Dusty Ineman.