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Bell Gardens | Full Sundown Assembly [Vinyl]

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$16.37 (inc Tax) $13.63 (exc Tax)
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Product Description

8 tracks, 44 minutes. Debut full-length album from the band featuring Brian McBride (Stars Of The Lid) and Kenneth Gibson ([a]pendics.shuffle, Furry Things).  Vinyl comes in deluxe gatefold sleeve with printed inner bag.  Heavyweight 180gm vinyl in your choice of two colours.  Includes a download card for an mp3 version of the album including one bonus track not on the CD or LP.   Additionally during November and December only we will give everyone who orders the vinyl a bundle of three additional tracks - remixes of "Through The Rain" by Loscil, Audio Parade and Brian McBride.

Bell Gardens is the product of late-night sessions between friends McBride and Gibson.  In the wee hours, the musicians shared wine, whiskey and song - playing DJ for each other and waxing lyrical over shared favourites such as Jack Nietzsche, Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and Dennis Wilson.  Eventually they decided to stop listening and to embark upon an exploration of the sounds that they both cherished - an all-but-lost, cinematic pop sound that often belies their respective backgrounds in the fields of experimental electronic, techno and minimalist music.  They felt a need to stay faithful to a time period in which songs that they had mutually revered had been recorded, and to capture what they believed to be a classic type of sound. They used mainly live instrumentation, thinking about what was available in studios from the 50s to the mid 70s.  Software and synthesized sounds were rejected in favour of live recording of piano, strings and horns. Instruments were recorded specifically to preserve both room sounds and the natural sound of the instrument.  If you were to ask Kenneth and Brian about the process of recording, they would probably say that the music they’re making in Bell Gardens is more “experimental” for them than their previous work.

For their first long-player, Full Sundown Assembly, the duo expand on their strange yet beautiful soundscapes, replacing the sparse compositions of some of their earliest efforts and filling space with immaculate arrangements of layered instrumentation, favouring piano melodies, horns, pedal steel and lush vocal harmonies. The tone is set from the first notes of album opener '”Clinging To The Almost”, where tender dream pop merges with classic country pedal steel, evolving half way through into an eerie piano melody with harmonious vocals, all underpinned by a crackled fuzz.  Such progressive tendencies continue throughout the album, each song sounding very different from the next; “Differently Tonight” is drenched in regal  string and horn crescendos, whilst “Nowhere” and “Through The Rain” perfectly encapsulate their love for 60s folk psychedelia, especially in the breathy vocal harmonies. Full Sundown Assembly comes to a cinematic finish with “To Land”, as waves of breathtaking panoramic orchestrations wash over the haunting vocals and leave the listener with the flickering reverberations of the album’s timeless sounds.

Bell Gardens raison d’etre may have been to pay homage to classic sounds of times past, yet with this very simple intention, Brian McBride and Kenneth James Gibson have created an album which sounds more like a lost pop treasure, finally unearthed.


"Beautifully understated, slow and graceful...Immaculately conceived." - Q magazine

"The architectural sonic opulence McBride is known for is still present, but this time through graceful arrangements of strings and the woozy vocals of Gibson's former band." - Mojo

"Brilliant results...sublime moments, not least the stomping chorale of "Differently Tonight" - The Wire

"a record of such genuine pop goodness that it threatens to knock The Beach Boys off my vinyl shelve...Bearing some comparisons, in terms of tone if not particularly instrumentation, with last year’s superb 'Kaputt' by Destroyer, this debut Bell Gardens full-length may just be the closest the last decade has come to interesting and intriguing pop." - Stereoboard

For Fans of: Spiritualized, Townes Van Zandt, The Free Design, Millennium, Sagittarius, The Beach Boys, Cardinal, Dennis Wilson, Mojave 3

Track Listing:

  1. Clinging To The Almost
  2. Differently Tonight
  3. Bobby
  4. Nowhere
  5. Fruitcup
  6. Through The Rain
  7. South
  8. To Land
Total Running Time: 43:45
Bonus track (available with download card included in vinyl package):
  1. Today I Started Loving You Again
Pre-order bonus tracks (available as an exclusive download):
  1. Through The Rain (Loscil remix)
  2. Through The Rain (Audio Parade remix)
  3. Through The Rain (Brian McBride remix)


Product Videos

Bell Gardens - Through The Rain (single) (05:11)
From the Southern Records single, released 20 August 2012. New single edit! Director: ZFCL www.zf-films.com Bell Gardens is the love child of Kenneth James Gibson (Furry Things, [a]pendics.shuffle) and Brian McBride (Stars Of The Lid), conceived over many late nights talking and playing for each other the songs that have inspired them over the years. Citing influences such as Jack Nietzsche, Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and Dennis Wilson's solo recordings, both musicians harboured a burning desire to traverse a pop sound that often belies their respective backgrounds in the fields of experimental electronic, techno and minimalist music. "Through The Rain" is a perfect introduction to the lush world of sound that Bell Gardens have carefully crafted through the use of real instruments and classic recording techniques. It's a bright, floaty burst of musical sunshine and sweet vocal harmonies, with a deeply embedded vein of mystery and wistfulness. The b-side of the single is a loping, steel-guitar infused interpretation of the late great Townes Van Zandt's "Don't Let The Sunshine Fool Ya". Two sides of a seven inch which won't let you down, no matter what the weather. Grab a piece of Bell Gardens' rainbow pie.
  • Bell Gardens -...
    From the Southern Records single, released 20 August 2012. New...
  • Bell Gardens -...
    From the album "Full Sundown Assembly" on Southern Records out...

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