It's a gorgeous and psychedelic journey with lyrics that may or may not be about love or loss of love but the dreamlike state which the listener quickly slips into while the song works its charms makes understanding and interpretation irrelevant. Turn off your big brain and float downstream.
Gardens & Villa have been KCRW favorites for years now. For about as long as they’ve been releasing music, we’ve been playing it. I remember hearing “Orange Blossom” (one of their earliest recordings) from several of my colleagues, and thinking “Ooh, I can’t wait to get my hands on that one!” The track “Fixations” from their last full length Music for Dogs is among my top 50 favorite songs of the past five years.
So you can imagine how delighted I was to receive an email directly from the band asking if we’d like to premiere the video for their ultra smooth new single “Underneath the Moon.” With it’s laid back synth-pop groove, the song already beautifully conveyed the feeling of a really good late night out with someone, or several someones that you really like. The video amplifies this feeling in an incredibly charming way.
Here’s songwriter Chris Lynch on how the video came together:
“We made this video in one night in our neighborhood and asked strangers to film us in the bar! The result is unpolished to feel like a documentation, showing the story of someone finding love after thinking it was gone forever (what the song is about), it is based on a true story! We all feel weird/different at some point in our life, and hopefully everyone can feel at least once in their life this great complete thing that is finding true love – your other weird one. Love bridging differences. The vampire in the video is a naive and nice one! He does not realize he is scary (because he is different) but he keeps going to find the one. Until he does… We got inspired by What We Do in the Shadows, this great fake documentary about the everyday life of vampires. It made us want to make a comedy vampire film. Right now we want to share a message of compassion and lightness during this heavy time when actual bad vampires are roaming around us!”
Gardens & Villa have a couple of upcoming shows in Southern California that you should definitely check out. I heard a rumor that Lynch may be dressed as the vampire from the video for at least one of them…
October 13th at Soho Restaurant and Music Club in Santa Barbara
October 19th at Zebulon
Carousel and header photos: Steven Perlin
Beyond its pool party-ready exterior — the frolicking flute, the sunny tenor — Gardens & Villa’s new single “Underneath the Moon” shimmers with bittersweet subtext.
The song, the first new music from the Santa Barbara-bred band since their 2015 album “Music for Dogs,” is on the surface “a light-hearted song about finding love when you thought it was gone forever,” the bands says. They add: “Kahlil Gibran once wrote, ‘Love, like death, changes everything.’ We’ve learned first-hand that love is the only way to counter death, as we’ve recently lost some of our closest guiding lights.
“If we look hard enough we can find it all around this crazy blue sphere, in the warmth of the summer and the beauty within each other. This song is about the feeling that everyone has felt or hopefully will one day, discovering a love that gets your heart beating again and fills you with hope. Whether just for a moment or if you’re lucky, forever, when you fight for love, suddenly you’re confronted with real beauty in the night. ‘Underneath the moon’ your heart can feel light again.”
It’s been eight years since Gardens & Villa — then fresh-faced kids — spent the summer making their debut album in Oregon, with the late Richard Swift producing. Now with four original G&V members reuniting (Chris Lynch, Adam Rasmussen, Dustin Ineman and Shane McKillop), they’ve pressed restart.
The flute’s force is strong within “Underneath the Moon,” which is as downright pretty as anything Gardens & Villa have released over three albums, and certainly a little tonic for these tumultuous times.
Last month, we spoke to Gardens & Villa about their third record, Music For Dogs, as they lean away from their previous dance-pop Dunes for a more psych and synth-rock effort. The duo was inspired by the urban decay in their new Los Angeles warehouse residency and our technology-driven lives that have become a sci-fi reality. We’ve already heard “Fixations” and “Everything,” and now the whole album is streaming a week before its release. Music For Dogs might be the band’s best LP yet. They’ve embraced a more organic sound and delivered a record that reflects a year of heartache and life changes. Band member Chris Lynch spoke about the new release to Noisey:
“This is sort of re-awakening record. Getting real with ourselves. Returning to our roots. Falling in love with guitars and pianos and voices again. Feeling too connected and yet at the end of the day, disconnected from everything/everyone.”