This week’s Listening Party features the Santa Barbara boys Gardens & Villa and their upcoming show  next Tuesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg.  Listening Party is a curated weekly column promoting music discovery and encouraging concert-going. Featuring someone we’ve been jamming out to and we recommend to the masses, each Listening Party artist has an upcoming show at a local NYC venue. Grab your headphones and read on.

WHO:  Adam Rasmussen, Chris Lynch, Dusty Ineman, Levi Hayden and Shane McKillop

THEY SAY:  “mature-electro-pop for adults”

WE SAY: Spacey, psychedelic sounds that will launch you out of your winter funk

FROM: Santa Barbara, California


LABEL: Secretly Canadian

RECENT WORK: Their second album Dunes, released February 4th

UPCOMING SHOW:  Next Tuesday (2/25) at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Why would anyone ever leave the coastal paradise of California? The Santa Barbara quintet Gardens & Villa have produced a perfect response with their newest album, Dunes. Leaving the Pacific waters behind, the group hunkered down on the barren shore of Lake Michigan to record the 10 track LP.

A shining blend of breathy flutes, delicate piano keys and hearty synthesizers, Gardens & Villa’s new sound is all grown up (and delightfully galactic!). With production assistance from Tim Goldsworthy  (LCD Soundsytem, Cut Copy), the newest album tracks are genre-varied and thoughtfully arranged. Dismal themes (heartbreak, nostalgia for youth, the disillusionment of urban life) are played out in an infectious electro-pop production.  Chris Lynch’s vocals soar atop the shimmering sky of ominous synthesizers, wind, key and string instruments. Fans of synth-driven rock will revel in the Depeche Mode-ness of “Colony Glen,” while “Bullet Train” packs a punch of Prince-like funk.

Whatever was in the Michigan Vernor’s ginger ale spouted an artistic growth spurt in Gardens & Villa, and we are loving it. Come shuffle your feet and “blast off” the drab remnants of winter at their show next Tuesday at Music Hall.