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EXCLUSIVE: The Garment District ‘A Street Called Finland’

Today, we are debuting The Garment District’s bold new track ‘A Street Called Finland’ lifted from their forthcoming album Flowers Telegraphed to All Parts of the World out on Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records on the 22nd of September. Hook laden and strident guitars and keys, and a groovy percussive section house intriguingly catchy vocals and string sweeps, it’s an engrossing and refreshing psych-pop tune, listen below.

On their second full-length LP, The Garment District delivers a Kunstkabinett of sound reminiscent of the Manhattan neighborhood (and others around the globe, both existing and shuttered) with which they share a name. Just as one might wander through a Garment District shop entranced by a staggering display of fabric from seemingly every era and locale, surrounded by rows of buttons, threads and trimmings, listeners will be equally entranced by the hypnotic array of textured sounds on Flowers Telegraphed to All Parts of the World.

The album was recorded in a friend’s home studio nestled in the labyrinthian hills of Western Pennsylvania during the time warp surrounding the pandemic. For composer and arranger Jennifer Baron (who plays numerous instruments on the album), settling in at David Klug’s studio atop Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington allowed her to stretch and challenge herself, creating expansive arrangements. In another lifetime, just miles away within nearby hills and hamlets, Jennifer’s great-grandfather arrived from Zagreb, forming a family band, a tamburitza orchestra featuring her grandfather, great-aunt and great-uncles, who performed in Monongahela Valley steel towns. Jennifer’s work with her first cousin Lucy Blehar, who supplies lead vocals, continues this family music-making heritage.

It should not come as a surprise to behold such intricate beauty coming from the hands of Jennifer Baron, who has deep roots in independent music, including being a founding member of The Ladybug Transistor (Merge Records), and having worked with English musicians Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3, Spectrum) and Jowe Head (Swell Maps, Television Personalities). The Garment District brings Baron‚Äôs extended musical circle to the fore by featuring Gary Olson (The Ladybug Transistor), Kyle Forester (Crystal Stilts) and Shivika Asthana (Papas Fritas). Adding to the sonic depth are contributions from Jennifer’s close collective of musicians, Dan Koshute, Corry Drake and Sean Finn. But while listeners may wonder exactly who plays and who sings which part at any given moment, they will never forget that they are listening to The Garment District. The sound is unique, and for all its complexity, the music is never fussy or pretentious. Often, it’s fun and playful. An instrument or lyric will flirt for your attention only to strut away in an unexpected direction, but without being rude about it. Not a moment is wasted, however; the album is cohesive from the first second to the last.

There’s an archival pleasure to be found in the music of The Garment District, which makes sense if you consider Baron’s background in museum education, independent crafts and photography. Many songs‚ and sounds within these songs‚ pay homage to the past: from the 1960s, listeners will detect the fingerprint of fuzzed-out psychedelia, orchestrated melodies and carnivalesque film soundtracks, most notably in the inspired cover of ‚”Following Me” by The Human Expression, which replaces the 1967 male vocal with a female voice, expands the arrangement and adds a Girls in the Garage sensibility. From the 1970s, there are traces of funk and disco and Crazy Horse and Ian Curtis; from the 1980s, New Wave and synth-pop, along with high, floating bass lines, hip-hop beats, experimental passages and guitar crescendos. Somewhere there is a whistle and somewhere else there is spoken word. Yet despite being infused with the past, the music feels contemporary, even forward-looking. The record is a kaleidoscope of inspiration, which is a gift in these uncertain times.


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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.