Shaun Fleming grew up in Los Angeles working on a variety of movies, TV shows and video games as a voice actor. Eventually he became Foxygen’s touring drummer, before Fleming launched his own solo musical project, Diane Coffee, upon relocating to New York City five years ago, when a vicious flu strain kept him homebound for several weeks in his new apartment. Drawing on what AllMusic calls “the same enormous canon of ’60s folk-pop, doo wop and bubblegum influences that inspired Foxygen and other like-minded contemporaries,” Fleming wrote and recorded the first Diane Coffee album, My Friend Fish (stream it below), which came out in 2013. “Packed with peace, love and jangly guitars, Diane Coffee’s debut LP, My Friend Fish, is an irresistible ode to ’60s psychedelia. After only a few listens, it’s hard not to slip into dreams of floral-crown-wearing hippies and cozy Haight-Ashbury cafés,” according to Paste magazine. “Lucky for us, his miserable experience created a 10-track collection filled with organs that hark to both a traditional gospel concert and a jubilant acid trip.” A second full-length, Everybody’s a Good Dog (stream it below), arrived in 2015. “Working with a large group of collaborators, including his Foxygen bandmates, and a larger palette of instruments that includes horns and strings, Fleming takes the intimate, loosely warped pop of My Friend Fish and blows it up into an expansive rainbow that includes elements of Motown, dub reggae, classic ’60s bubblepop, ’70s glam rock and psychedelic R&B,” per AllMusic. “An album this crazy and good deserves nothing but praise and adulation.” Fleming recently released a two-song 7″ called Peel and has hit the road. Catch Diane Coffee (above, doing “Mayflower” for KEXP FM) tomorrow at Rough Trade NYC. Vancouver, B.C., four-piece Peach Pit open the show.
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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. Earlier this month, the quintet’s follow-up effort, the introspective yet danceable Dunes (stream it below), arrived on Secretly Canadian. Paste weighed in, saying the album “is an enticing amalgamation of contemporary dance-music sensibilities laid over familiar, primal roots. The pointed, salient synths of Adam Rasmussen mesh fluidly with the soft melodies of lead singer Chris Lynch’s bansuri flutes and falsetto cries. Innumerable intricacies layered into the background make for an encompassing wall of notes that pulls you into a unusual dance.” Dance along in person when Gardens & Villa play Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight. (Foxygen drummer Shaun Fleming’s Diane Coffee opens.)
Tags: Adam Rasmussen, Ariel Pink, Beck, Christopher Lynch, Diane Coffee, Dunes, Dusty Ineman, Foxygen, Gardens & Villa, Grandaddy, Levin Hayden, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Preview, Richard Swift, Secretly Canadian, Shane Mckillop, Shaun Fleming, Video, Yeasayer
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