aec.shlf91.2 11/27/12 New
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    Garlands Shelflife

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Review Text The Garlands' chiming indie pop places them firmly in the post-C86 time line, following a path that starts with the Flatmates and Talulah Gosh, past Heavenly and right up to the Tender Trap and the School, to name a couple excellent contemporaries. Their debut self-titled album has 12 songs built around richly jangling guitars, heartbreakingly sweet melodies, and the crisp vocals of Christin Wolderth, who delivers the lyrics with an autumnal restraint that balances well with the sunny feel of the music. There's not a lot of variety in the arrangements or the songs, as they all stick to this classic indie pop formula, but thanks to the skills of co-founder and songwriter Roger Gunnarsson (known for his own group Nixon but also for having songs covered by Sally Shapiro), each song sounds like a single A-side. The record is mostly made up of hooky, instantly memorable uptempo songs that bounce out of the speakers like eager-to-please puppies, but the handful of tunes like "Chandeliers" and "Don't Cry" that dial down the tempo (a little) and ramp up the melancholy are just as good. There are no wasted notes, no flashy guitar solos, no hip-hop drum breaks, and almost nothing that places the album in 2012. Thanks to the timeless sound and time-honored structure, The Garlands could have been made in 1986, 1992, or anytime after that. Anyone who has ever loved a female-fronted indie pop group that knows how to balance sunshine and sadness, can play with both ramshackle speed and masterful subtlety, and can pluck the tenderest heartstrings with a simple vocal harmony will find much to love here. The Garlands can do all of that, and their debut album is an instant indie pop classic that sounds great on the first listen and grows more essential with each spin thereafter. ~ Tim Sendra

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Forevermore - 2:11
  2. 2. Don't Cry - 3:40
  3. 3. Throw Away This Day - 2:44
  4. 4. David - 3:36
  5. 5. Chandeliers - 2:58
  6. 6. Weakness Is Your Pose - 2:26
  7. 7. Tell Me - 2:53
  8. 8. Things Just Sound So Easy for You - 1:28
  9. 9. Open Arms - 2:19
  10. 10. Why Did I Trust You - 1:28
  11. 11. Why I Don't Say Goodbye - 3:15
  12. 12. Your Words - 2:14

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