BELLOWS – ” The Rose Gardener “

Posted: March 18, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

bellows

The Rose Gardener, Bellows’ fourth full-length album and the project’s first for Topshelf Records, is a four-part journey through the uncanny valley of deep psychological disorder and pain. Self-recorded over the course of a single winter while Oliver Kalb was living in Woodstock, NY, The Rose Gardener invokes a bright and pastoral landscape of Americana and folk, with lyrics influenced by a strange pairing of Romantic Poetry and deeply modern interrogations of internet pop-culture discourse. The uncanniness of The Rose Gardener comes from the odd pairing of this bright Americana musical foundation with the album’s dark, bubbling substructure of noise, synthesizers, sampling and vocal manipulation that together create a feeling of paranoia and danger around every corner; as if the album’s narrator cannot escape his plummeting into the dark however much its songs push to remain in the bright rose garden of beauty and creation.

This time around, rather than present great coloured skies and vistas, The Rose Gardener feels more pin-pointed, an exploration of what’s directly around us; a world within a world (the proverbial garden), but also lingering dark corners, the parts of our brain we don’t often find ourselves in.

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Musically, The Rose Gardener finds Kalb and co. in similarly stylistic mood to what’s come before, this aforementioned world brought into life through a series of skewed, odd-pop signatures, both light and dark, shaped by the manipulated vocals and the playful and plentiful rhythmic instrumentals that burst into bloom with the most graceful of touches.

The kind of record that feels tenderly consuming when you’re inside of it, and strangely dream-like when you’re not, the new album is another adventurous and emotive collection of songs, earthy and raw but idiosyncratic too; a maze-like allegory of pop songs, full of twists and turns you can’t explain. 

The Rose Gardener is released on Friday, via Topshelf Records

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