Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jacco Gardner - Hypnophobia

In addition to being a very fine album, Hypnophobia from Dutch musician Jacco Gardner provides and excellent example of yet another version of psychedelia.  Jacco's version is gentle, even pastoral, but is varnished with a bright coat of pop and sturdy rhythms.  The result is more Kevin Ayers or Syd Barrett than Tame Impala.  But it is quietly both stylish and impressive.  The artfully layered sounds create an aural kaleidoscope swirl, reinforced by the thematic focus on the space between dreaming and wakefulness (the title refers to the irrational fear of sleep).  The tension between sleep and being awake is replicated by the balance between the surreal and the more direct melodic elements.

Hypnophobia's ten songs offer many delights.  The opening track "Another You" begins proceedings on an especially bright note, and is followed by a delectable instrumental, transitioning to two of my favorite songs on the album.  "Brightly" is exhibit A for just how satisfying pastoral psychedelia can be when done well, and reminds me of how much I enjoyed Syd Barrett's solo work.  "Find Yourself"  (steam below) is a showcase track which, unsurprisingly, was chosen to be released as a single.  The title track (stream below) is a jangling masterpiece of moods and subtle effects.

Ease yourself into Jacco's world.   It is delightful in here.

Hypnophobia is out now via Full Time Hobby.  The label for North America is Polyvinyl Records.  Excelsiorshop handles distribution for the Benelux countries, and Full Time Hobby takes care of the rest of the world.

Polyvinyl Records page for album
Full Time Hobby page for album
Excelsiorshop page for album

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