Jacco Gardner's Cabinet of Curiosities: psych-baroque-pop
December 31, 2013 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Here's a little something old to bring in the new year: Jacco Gardner and his debut solo album, Cabinet of Curiosities (Grooveshark streaming tracks; full album on YouTube). Why? Because it's a delicious platter of ornate, lushly orchestrated, psych-inflected "soft rock" or "baroque pop" and if you didn't know better, you might guess it was made in the 1960s, not in 2012. The album was created almost solely by Gardner, who played all the instruments except the drums. For live shows, the 25 year old multi-instrumentalist had to enlist more help, as you can see in this live set from Lowlands, and two more, from Ancienne Belgique and at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).

If you're looking for more music from Gardner, you can look back to his other project, The Skywalkers (Bandcamp; see also this rough audience video recording), and as told in an interview in October, he's working on the next Jacco Gardner album.

But that doesn't mean 2013 has been all quiet on the studio front for Jacco Gardner. This year he also released a few tracks, including a single with a video for The End of August (backed with Notus), a Christmas tune (Magic of the Cold, set to video clips from Santa Clause versus the Devil), and a few covers (Smokey Robinson's You Really Got A Hold On Me for Mojo magazine's cover CD, We're With The Beatles, and Billy Nicholls' Always On My Mind for a Record Store Day four-way split 2x7" single).
posted by filthy light thief (14 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I've had this record for a couple of months now and I can't stop playing it. It's really a labor of love from a Dutchman who grooves on all the quirks of English Psychedelia Circa 1967. That's an acquired taste but an addictive one, and it's what got me into Robyn Hitchcock back in the '80s.

What I haven't figured out yet is whether there's all that many great songs on there, where once you remove the glorious overproduction you're left with very much. That is the case for Hitchcock, as it was for Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd (as David Bowie demonstrated with his cover of "See Emily Play").

I'm looking forward to his new disc -- if he starts to build his own voice on top of his influences (hopefully without losing the retro-delic sound!) I think it should reveal a lot, retroactively, about Cabinet Of Curiosities.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 4:35 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

The live versions aren't so produced and layered in atmospheric haze, and I think they might even be more enjoyable than the studio work, for exactly the reason you mention.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:47 PM on December 31, 2013

I'm telling the DJ down at the Electric Psychedelic Swingers Club about this.
posted by Yakuman at 5:22 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Psychedelic Baroque? Yes, yes, I can think I could really get into this. It's slightly Early Pink Floyd (as Harvey said), and I loves me some harpsichord...
posted by symbioid at 6:14 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

This sounds like a Wes Anderson movie.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:38 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is excellent, thank you! I particularly enjoyed the live sets. You might like The Weatherman
posted by tsuipen at 7:23 PM on December 31, 2013

I've been listening to Gardner's Cabinet of Curiosities for a few months and I'm pretty impressed. Brings to mind Charlotte Gainsbourg's 5:55. He gently pushes all the right buttons that other recent psych acts clumsily mash their modern mitts down on. I'm interested in seeing where his songwriting leads to - if it'll grow and progress (like a good writer should) or if he'll be forever stuck in the psych-revivalist rut that often entraps other throwback artists. Whatever the case, I'm happy to have CoC.
posted by item at 7:36 PM on December 31, 2013

Thanks for this - just the thing for lazing about on January 1.
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:10 AM on January 1, 2014

Love this - it's like Kevin Barnes and Pink Floyd had a baby.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:50 AM on January 1, 2014

Harvey Kilobit, if it's great songs in this part of the psych-pop forest you're seeking, I give you: The Orgone Box.
posted by Scram at 3:19 PM on January 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Quite enjoyable. Much thanks.
posted by evilDoug at 7:51 PM on January 1, 2014

In a similar vein, I've really been enjoying Morgan Delt, another new psych rock revivalist with I think a bit more of an aggressive edge.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 4:36 AM on January 2, 2014

What a nice surprise seeing Jacco Gardner on the blue! Cabinet of Curiosities came in at #9 on my annual year end list of favorite albums.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:04 PM on January 2, 2014

Wait, are we doing songs in this psychedelic pop/rock vein now? Then let me suggest The Village Green, "Om (The Meaning Of Life)".
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:22 PM on January 2, 2014

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