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Jacco Gardner

Cabinet of Curiosities (Trouble in Mind)

Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013 Records

Jacco Gardner

Cabinet of Curiosities (Trouble in Mind)

Four decades after the fact, Syd Barrett's London Underground joins forces with Curt Boettcher's West Coast pop on the streets of Amsterdam. Gardner, a 24-year-old Dutch multi-instrumentalist playing everything but the drums here, goes deep down the rabbit hole of psychedelic pastiche. Even so, he never completely surrenders his own voice. Gardner's elemental lyrics don't have the brain-tickling prowess of Andy Partridge, but the headiness of his studied reverence approaches Dukes of Stratosphear altitudes. "Clear the Air" breezes a lazy Sunday afternoon vibe punctuated by strategic harpsichord, while "Watching the Moon" waltzes through a hypersensory romantic interlude in a dark forest. By the time we land on "Help Me Out," the onslaught of melancholic wooze becomes fully enveloping. Sprightly stepping closer "The Ballad of Little Jane" reveals a baroque lovelorn tragedy. Beneath the rainbows, emotional resonance may ultimately be Gardner's most distinctive calling card. (10:20pm, Hotel Vegas)

***.5

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