GARDEN CENTRE: A Moon for Digging: CD

Nothing could have prepared me for the shrill wail that erupted into my life in the first seconds of the opening song. It took me another thirty seconds to collect myself and decide if I was ever going to get used to these vocals or not, but as it turns out, this is great. Garden Centre does folky indie rock in a style that’s too coarse and fuzzy to ever be called “ethereal” or be mistaken for taking place in any sort of chamber… and yet there’s still something so otherworldly and unplaceable about this. The oddball exuberance of songs like “Naked Ape” and “Lucky Guy” reminds me of Fishboy or the most triumphant of Mountain Goats anthems. Plus laser zap sounds. It’s not quite right to say that this sounds like Joanna Newsom—because objectively it mostly doesn’t—but the sound of this band could exist in the same twee faerie world she inhabits, maybe in a rougher gnome-pop corner of the same fanciful garden. –Indiana Laub (Specialist Subject, [email protected], specialistsubjectrecords.co.uk)