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Kick Off the Weekend with Gardens & Villa in Williamsburg

September 25th, 2015

Five college friends formed Gardens & Villa in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2008. At first it was just Chris Lynch (vocals and guitar), Adam Rasmussen (synths), Shane McKillop (bass) and Levi Hayden (drums), but they soon added Dustin Ineman (keys) for their live appearances. The band headed up to Oregon to record their first album, the upbeat but chill Gardens & Villa (stream it below), with Richard Swift, camping out in his backyard: “No shower, no kitchen, but all the magic you could ask for.” The A.V. Club said the group “belongs to the tradition of scruffy California rock bands that make music as big, breezy, weird and subtly sinister as their home state,” before comparing Gardens & Villa (above, performing “Minnesota” in studio for KJEE FM) to Beck, Ariel Pink and Grandaddy. Following a slick, dance-pop-filled second release, Gardens & Villa returned to their lo-fi ways this year with their third LP, the strong Music for Dogs (stream it below). “What’s most rewarding about Music for Dogs above all,” according to PopMatters, “is having the chance to listen to an artist throwing what’s expected of them out the window, and not being afraid to be themselves, to be a little weird and most importantly in this case, to be a little pissed off. In doing so, Gardens & Villa have granted themselves a new lease on their artistic life, and have produced one of the year’s best rock albums.” See them play Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. Palehound and Cotillon open the show.