Garlands

(Picnic, Lightning)

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New York's Garlands debuted their simple pop sound with this 1999 six-song EP. The band's Britpop influences are immediately apparent, as the Morrissey-like vocals sail over light instrumentation on the opening track, "Bird on the Make." The subtle vocals continue on "Ancient Music," and the tones on "Bed and Breakfast" remain ambitious and blissful. The jangly guitars meet power pop overtones and overtly dramatic vocals on "Huge Weeping Willows," before the breezy "Shroot" closes out the all-to-brief EP. With crisp production, clean performances and lyrical shrewdness, the quartet earned a lot of attention in indie pop circles with this first effort. The disc was recorded at both Marlborough Farms Studio in Brooklyn and The Place Studio in New York. Produced with Gary Olson, William Wells, and Gary Maurer; Andy Chase (of the band Ivy) mixed the album, which was released by Mister Records in late 1999.

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