‘Unique’ is a word that tends to get over applied to bands these days. After all, there are a number of very good bands out there that aren’t necessarily ‘unique’, and even some of contemporary alternative rock’s most provocative outfits are following an art punk lineage that dates back almost fifty years.
That said, if there’s one band that has earned the ‘unique’ tag, it’s The Garden, a genuinely ground-breaking outfit made up of twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears. The Garden don’t just reject the rules of pop, they reject the rules of alternative rock too, and have actively shaken off the ‘punk’ tag that overzealous critics foisted upon them early in their career. Instead, the Shears’ claim to make music that obeys the rules of ‘Vada Vada’, a genre term they invented themselves in order to escape the media’s lazy pigeonholing.
Though The Garden was officially formed in 2011, the Shears twins had been making music together long before then, and indeed the bands’ first official release, Burger Records Tape smacks of confidence and assurance. There’s not a hesitant note in the thing; it’s a work created by a pair of musicians who know not only what they want, but how they’re going to get it.
From that point on The Garden moved from strength to strength. 2012’s delirious Everything Is Perfect was soon followed by The Life And Times Of A Paperclip, an LP that carthwheels from the infectious off-kilter energy of The Apple to the endearingly sweet straight up ballad known as Gumdrops.
October this year will see the release of haha, a work that seems all but ready to go down in the annals as one of the 2015’s very finest records: bitingly funny, searingly caustic, and somehow both deeply innocent and yet horrendously experienced, it’s a masterpiece from beginning to end.
Ahead of that album’s release, we are going to be covering the bands’ work extensively. To that end, check back over the next few weeks, as we will be presenting a list of The Gardens’ five best songs, an interview with the band, and a review of their sure to be incendiary show at the Newtown Social Club on the 27th of September.