12rec.026 Front  
art: peterson | hit pic to enlarge  

giraffe LP


file under: alternative rock, indiepop & folk
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Newport, 40 years ago. This is what the Folkies must have felt like: they came to see their idol, they came to see the saviour. When Bob finally entered the stage, the first thing he did was pluggin' in his guitar and let his fans taste the new, the 'Electric Dylan'. Folks went mad, booing and whisteling. Once more, the artist was ahead of his followers, and critics nowadays praise the Bob Dylan songs with his guitar amplified and overdriven more than his Folk-Music tunes. Where's the connecting to James Gardner a.k.a. Giraffe except the fact both guys are wearing tastily hats?

If you know Jame's Dusty Window EP at 12rec. (which you should!), you might have a similar expection compared to the people back in the days waiting for Dylan to pick his acoustic guitar. James also plugged in his guitar and turned up the volume- well, most of the time.
The shift from spare and acoustic Folksongs to his current sound of opulent lo-fi Progrock hasn't been the decision of a single night. When we got to know him in the summer of 2004, he already complained about his plans to get into Rock- and Blues-Music. The Dusty Window EP was sort of a last point and set him free to expand his songs with a lot of strange instruments (he's into woodwinds), drums and distortion as well as swirling synth-lines, programmed beats and field-recordings.

In 2006, noone should get shocked by this. Like the late Elliot Smith, James injected his unique style into a more opulent setting. He puts his music on a higher level and prooves himself as a great musician and composer. J manages to focus a dozen different instruments on a four-minutes Popsong without loosing tension and harmonical grip. You'll love it.

Thanks to Andrew A. Peterson for the nice cover painting!

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