The Seattle duo’s dreamy, dark, pop would provide the perfect backdrop for David Lynch’s noirish film of mysterious goings-on in the dank forests of the Pacific Northwest.
If David Lynch needs a band to provide music for his upcoming “Twin Peaks” reboot, he should keep Golden Gardens in mind. The Seattle-based duo’s dreamy, dark, ethereal pop would provide the perfect backdrop for Lynch’s noirish scenes of mysterious goings-on in the dank forests of the Pacific Northwest.
But see for yourself Thursday (Oct. 20), at Fremont’s High Dive, where Golden Gardens will be celebrating the release of its third album, “Reign.”
Golden Gardens came together in 2010, when multi-instrumentalist Gregg Neville, then based in Florida, mused online about wanting to put together a band along the lines of U.K. gothic-rock outfit Cocteau Twins.
Golden Gardens, Surrealized, Eastern Souvenirs
8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at High Dive, 513 N. 36th St. Seattle; $6-$10 (206-632-0212 or highdiveseattle.com).
Aubrey Bramble, who had known Neville from when she lived in Florida but had since moved to Seattle, had never sung in a band before, but had always wanted to.
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“I asked Gregg if I could try to come up with some vocal melodies or ideas with whatever he had composed — even though I didn’t live in Florida,” she said. “He was like ‘Oh, sure.’ ”
Music files were swapped, and the two soon had enough tracks for an EP. Six years on, Neville has since relocated to Seattle.
The landscape of “Reign” is populated by powerful female archetypes drawn from the band’s interest in literature, art and mythology. The opening track, “La Belle Dame Sans Merci,” references the John Keats poem and John Williams Waterhouse’s painting of the same name, about a beautiful woman luring a knight to his doom. “Dream of Venus” is an homage to both the Salvador Dali exhibit of that name at the 1939 World’s Fair and the goddess of love.
Musically, the sound is lush and seductive, with swirling synthesizers, edgy swipes of guitar and the ominous, repetitive beat of a drum machine. Bramble’s high, clear voice adds tartness. When she sings “And no matter what you say/I will always get my way” in “Queen of Air and Darkness,” it’s both a promise and a threat.
“I feel like we’ve always done a good job of having stealth messages in the songs,” Bramble said. “Some of our saddest songs are maybe the songs that sound the happiest, and some of the happiest songs are the songs that sound the saddest.”
The album marks the first time Golden Gardens has recorded in a professional studio, working with producer Martin Feveyear (Mudhoney, Shelby Earl, Mark Lanegan), giving the music a more streamlined sound than previous recordings. And yes, the band’s name does refer to Ballard’s Golden Gardens Park, which Bramble first visited when the flowers were in bloom.
“I thought the name fit our sound well,” she said. “To me it conjures up dreamy imagery of these gilded gardens of magic.”
That’s the Golden Gardens aesthetic — looking at the ordinary and finding the sublime.