It seems like just about anyone can record an EP. Grab a MIDI keyboard and a laptop, record a few hooks, sample 12 tracks of harmonies and a plagiarized Lorde beat - blam! You’re the next Banks. But, just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. In a crowded sonic space, where everyone’s hook sound like everyone else’s, two bands stand out among the pack.
Gardens & Villa headline The Independent Saturday, November 22nd with main support from local Oakland-outfit, Astronauts Etc. Grab your tickets here.
Anthony Ferraro of Astronauts Etc (and Toro Y Moi) shows off his professionalism and songwriting savvy in a genre that’s chock-full of Randy Marsh quality Lorde’s, and poorman’s Beach House’s. Ferraro hit a stride with the release of his debut EP Sadie, getting the single “Up For Grabs” featured on NPR Music.
Ferraro crafts densely layered hooks that he cuts through with an unmistakable falsetto. As wispy as Ferraro’s voice sounds on record, it is still confident. You can tell Ferraro is right at home on stage after years of touring with Toro Y Moi, and countless Bay Area shows fronting Astronauts Etc. This Saturday, do yourself the favor of catching Astronauts Etc in action, and pay close attention to the interplay between Ferraro’s vocal melody and guitarist Derek Barber’s tasteful countermelodies. My guess is they can communicate to each other telepathically.
Gardens & Villa are making the trek up from their hometown of Santa Barbara for a quick run of shows to promote their latest release, Televisor, a collection of B-sides and rarities the band amassed over the years. What Gardens & Villa lack in finesse they make up for in pop-friendly power. Throbbing, repetitive synth patterns are a staple of their work on their latest release Dunes. However, expect a new look from the band on Saturday as they’re highlighting their heavier side on Televisor, trading in a few hand-claps for a thicker guitar sound.