Lace Curtains

The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness (Female Fantasy Records)

Texas Platters

Lace Curtains

The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness (Female Fantasy Records)

Slop-pop romantics Harlem dropped off the radar after what should have been the local trio's national breakout on Matador Records, 2010's Hippies. Perpetually disheveled co-founder Michael Coomer appears to have sobered up for his proper solo debut, The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness, reaching deep on a surprisingly tender album of minimalist Motown R&B and soft-focus pop, backed in part by Bloc Party's Matt Tong. Coomer's always possessed a strong narrative streak (see "South of France"), but he trades smirking tales of "Psychedelic Tits" for something far more vulnerable and apologetic – or so it seems. Even the blunt domestic strife in the stunning "Bedroom Honesty" packs a veiled meaning, apparently inspired by a Craigslist casual encounter. While he may be in character, such moments – and the weirdness in between them – are no less convincing for it. The Garden ... captures that 5am realization that the party's over. The thrill is gone.

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Lace Curtains
Texas Platters
Lace Curtains
A Signed Piece of Paper (Record Review)

Chase Hoffberger, Nov. 28, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Austin Powell
Aaron Frazer’s MCU of Soul
Aaron Frazer’s MCU of Soul
The Indications’ drummer and soul crooner introduces himself at ACL

Oct. 7, 2021

ACL Interview: Soul Drummer with a Tender Falsetto, Aaron Frazer Pulls Double Duty at the Fest
ACL Interview: Soul Drummer with a Tender Falsetto, Aaron Frazer Pulls Double Duty at the Fest
Dan Auerbach collaborator will drum for Durand Jones & the Indications before taking the mic for a solo set

Oct. 8, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Lace Curtains

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle