Kick back and bask in the sunlight of Rose City Band’s latest radiant LP, Garden Party.
Released by the great Thrill Jockey Records just in time for the warmth of spring, the psychedelic chooglers’ fourth record is a gleaming slice of laid back boogies and tranquil ballads.
Ripley Johnson’s guitar work and vocals are as smooth as ever here, gliding along Barry Walker Jr.’s equally glossy pedal steel waves with ease. Johnson is also joined by Moon Duo bandmates John Jeffrey on drums and Sanae Yamada on synths, both of whom add to the album’s dreamy sun-kissed atmosphere. If the Grateful Dead or Little Feat were fed a trove of blissful ambient records, then this might be the sort of spacey Americana sound they could have come up with.
While the song craft on this record is particularly strong, with tasty melodies and slippery runs of catchy lyrics that go down as easy as lemonade on a hot day, it’s the jams that shine the brightest. Any chance Ripley, Walker and the others get to cut loose and let their instruments do the talking, they always transcend their studio confines and paint gorgeously vivid pastoral scenes and cosmic journeys. From the rippling euphoric sound bath that takes up the second half of “Chasing Rainbows,” to the sultry astral strut of “El Rio,” RCB conjures vibes that are so relaxed and pleasant in these jams, it’s damn hard to be anything but mellow.
Need an LP to chill your mind to, soak in the summer sun or even soundtrack your own garden party with? Then get yourself a copy of this groovy beast today.
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