The Beard – EP 117 – Jacco Gardner by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

Hypnophobia comes from a place where fears, darkness and creativity collide, like a slightly scary lucid dream. Click To Tweet
Jacco Gardner - Hypnophobia

Jacco Gardner’s new album Hypnophobia is kaleidoscopic in musical scope

If bands could have babies, and the Kinks and the Beach Boys were seriously dating, thinking about moving in with each other, thinking about the future, if they were committed to a purity of baroque pop, and were out to dinner with Syd Barrett and Serge Gainsbourg, the result — their love child might be Jacco Gardner. The Dutch multi-instrumentalist’s latest album, Hypnophobia, released by Polyvinyl, is a study of clarity in the midst of a dream. It recalls the sounds of the past without being being derivative, and builds on the history of esoteric classical tinged pop with a keen ear for melody honed by cutting edge production.

I came up with the title “Hypnophobia” while falling asleep and part of my brain just didn’t turn off,” explains Gardner. “I often have trouble letting go of reality, even though I prefer the world in my dreams… Hypnophobia comes from a place where fears, darkness and creativity collide, like a slightly scary lucid dream. Fearing a loss of control definitely plays a big part of it.”

Part Lewis Carroll part Harry Nilson, Gardner’s first album Cabinet of Curiosities (Trouble In Mind, 2013), provided a taste of his kaleidoscopic fairytale kingdom to come. He began playing as member of band The Skywalkers, occasionally joined the Allah Las on keyboards, and jammed with Frank Maston. “Touring all over the world has completely changed me,” he says. “I’ve seen places I’d never seen before or didn’t even know existed. I think Hypnophobia has got some of its adventurous character from all those amazing experiences.”

Jacco Gardner – Hypnophobia

One of the more refreshing things about Gardner, and Hypnophobia in general, is its fearlessness. It brashly, and meticulously explores the vast playland of pop’s rules, and declares that lush baroque instrumental tracks do in fact have a central place on the musical rainbow. He is not just playing any old instruments–the record features a Wurlitzer electric piano, mellotrons, harpsichords, an Optigan, and an antique Steinway upright piano. Comparisons to John Maus, and Tame Impala, stand up next to seemingly incompatible artists such as Syd Barrett and Curt Boettcher, and the air of Stereolab is never far off. Yet despite his addiction to vintage instruments, he seems to be an unapologetic tech-wunderkind, “Hypnophobia is the next step into an alternate reality influenced by the present. I’m so inspired by today’s technology that many things I do were not possible in the past.”

Recorded entirely at Gardner’s Shadow Shoppe Studio located in the heart of an industrial estate in the peaceful and pastoral village of Zwaag, 30 miles north of Amsterdam, Gardner played all instruments except for drums (provided by live band member Jos van Tol and latest addition Nic Niggebrugge). Artist Julian House – who has created album art for Stereolab and Broadcast, did the throwback imagery for the album. It seems as if Jacco Gardner’s visions for his music are as vivid as the lucid dream he had presaging the album itself. If so, we are in for some excellent albums–and hopefully film scores, symphonies, Spacestation concertos, et al–to come.

Tour Dates

Jacco Gardner - Hypnophobia

Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities

05/06 – Tourcoing, France @ Grand Mix
05/07 – Luxembourg, Luxembourg @ Floor
05/08 – Lyon, France @ Epicerie Moderne
05/10 – Brussels, Belgium @ Les Nuits Botanique
05/11 – Bordeaux, France @ Barbey Rock School Club
05/13 – Barcelona, Spain @ Le 2 De Apolo
05/14 – Valencia, Spain @ El Loco
05/15 – Madrid, Spain @ El Sol
05/16 – Lisboa, Portugal @ Music Box
05/17 – Porto, Portugal @ Hard Club
05/18 – Orense, Spain @ Auditorio de Orense
05/19 – San Sebastian, Spain @ Intxaurrondo
05/21 – Capri, Italy @ Mattatoio
05/22 – Ravenna, Italy @ Hana Bi
05/23 – Padova, Italy @ Mame
05/24 – Vienna, Austria @ Arena
05/26 – Munich, Germany @ Kranhalie – Feierwerk
05/27 – Berlin, Germany @ Private Club
05/28 – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow Club
05/29 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Loppen
05/30 – Oslo, Norway @ Revolver
05/31 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Strand
06/04 – Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Rotown
06/05 – Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Psych Lab – Effenaar
06/06 – Maastricht, Netherlands @ Muziekgieterj
06/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy
06/11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade [Northside Festival]
06/12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Northside Festival
06/14 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs
06/16 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le “Ritz” P.D.B.
06/17 – Toronto, ON @ NXNE
06/18 – Toronto, ON @ NXNE
06/19 – Cleveland, OH @ Happy Dog
06/20 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
06/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
06/23 – Missoula, MT @ Stage 112
06/24 – Seattle, WA @ The Sunset Tavern
06/25 – Vancouver, BC @ The Fox Cabaret
06/26 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
07/02 – Tucson, AZ @ The Flycatcher
07/03 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
07/06 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s
07/07 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
07/09 – Asheville, NC @ New Mountain Theatre
07/10 – Indianapolis, IN @ Joyful Noise Records
07/11 – Columbus, OH @ Community Music Fest at Seventh Son Brewing Co.
07/17 – Leeuwarden, Netherlands @ Welcome To The Village
09/04 – Gardenstown, UK @ End of the Road Festival
^ w/ Ultimate Painting
# w/ White Fence
? w/ Roky Erickson
& w/ Twerps
$ w/ Happyness
@ w/ Broncho
! w/ Eerie Wanda