Indiepop has been one of the dearer things to my heart for the past 5+ years of my life. We’ve had our moments and sometimes I flat-out think we ought to call it a day, but there’s always something at the played-out garage garbagiest of times that gives me faith in the genre again—that makes me listen with, and to, my heart again. It’s certainly no secret that Indiepop as a genre, as a community, as a whatever proudly and readily celebrates the immediacy of itself and the sugarrush spirit of the ‘three-minute throwaway pop song’, but sometimes it’s also worth holding onto. The Garlands are worth holding onto; and I’ve been holding them close since 2008.
It’s four plus years later now and The Garlands debut LP is finally here. Part of me wishes I had this in my hands back in 2009 when I would have run up and down the street screaming about it, because I think those days might be gone; but maybe it’s best I have it now, because it might be exactly what I need.
It’s a safe bet that The Garlands are part of the collective pop consciousness by this point, but SO WE’RE CLEAR, The Garlands are now a full-fledged five-piece comprised of Christin Wolderth, Einar Ekström, Patrik Lindgren, Maria Grum, and Robert Klaesson; with Roger Gunnarsson only appearing behind-the-scenes as co-songwriter with Christin. With the new solidified lineup, I could only imagine that these songs glow an even brighter shade of brilliant live.
The self-titled LP collects new versions/recordings of several earlier EP/split-single tracks from 2008 onwards in addition to some totally new and totally GREAT material. There’s even a new version of “Chandeliers”: a song I have a personal love and connection with as it appeared on the first ever Skatterbrain Compilation CD! The new version of “David”, a perfect showcase for Christin’s endlessly beautiful vocals, trades in the EP version’s 100mph drumming for blissful guitar shimmer and big ride splashes. In stark comparison, yet no less charming, “Open Arms” opens up with an energy that Talulah Gosh would be proud of; all crashing drums, blistering strums, and exploding hearts.
Listen: The Garlands “Open Arms”
But they’ve written new songs since 2008, too! “Weakness Is Your Pose” might be the best one of the whole bunch with Einar’s smile-inducing lead putting a sunny backdrop to Christin’s woes. And that’s what pop does best, really—sad songs with sunny guitars. That’s how The Garlands grabbed my heart and that’s why they still have it. Melodies will take you places, but words will keep you there. As “Your Words” closes the record with the line “your words are still stuck in my head,” it all just makes so much sense.
Pick up the self-titled LP from Shelflife Records!
45rpm AND 100 on limited purple vinyl. How luxurious.
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