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 over 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
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by Austin Powell
The American Analog Set’s Heavy Return and Seven More Songs From Austin Artists
The American Analog Set’s Heavy Return and Seven More Songs From Austin Artists
New music picks from Pelvis Wrestley, NOOK Turner, the Teeta, and more

Nov. 3, 2023

Review: Explosions in the Sky, <i>End</i>
Review: Explosions in the Sky, End
ATX instrumental band's seventh studio album is also its first in seven years

Sept. 29, 2023

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Lace Curtains

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

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

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