Breezy Guitar-Driven Psychedelic Rock
The lesser known, but up and coming Dutch chamber pop artist, Jacco Gardner, released a new album, Hypnophobia that stays true to his retro roots. Gardner’s Hypnophobia is taking the same psychedelic rock strides as Tame Impala, yet with his own twist of being a multi-instrumentalist. Hypnophobia is much less up-tempo and veers away from the indie pop tendencies that the previous album, Cabinet of Curiosities adhered to. Gardner takes a softer sound with the majority of his tracks, and intertwines his psychedelic-ness with classic singer-songwriter compositions.
The album begins on a more upbeat indie pace but transitions into a series of eclectic ballads. “Grey Lanes” features the repetition of keyboard arpeggios and guitar solos making it completely instrumental. “Brightly” and “Face to Face” have simple acoustic finger-picking complementing the John Lennon-esque vocals. An underlying synth lingers along the rest of the tracks. “Outside” has the same combination of psychedelic with acoustic guitar as David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” “Before the Dawn” brings back the indie pop vibe that the earlier track emphasized. The album’s namesake track, “Hypnophobia,” carries on the salute to the 60s theme. “Make me See” and “All Over” singularizes the phaser-toned keyboard that delicately strings together simple melodies.
As a nod to his 60’s influences, the album is chockfull of long, guitar-dominated intros before the vocals come in. Similarly, there is also a pattern of ongoing, phaser-heavy outros that lull each track to a close. There is also a reliance on arpeggios in the leitmotif riff that follows each track, that kind of act as a mesmerizing effect; a fairly intentional use of irony in terms of the album’s name. There is not as much as of a dependence on percussion as the previous album. The accompaniment seems to carry most of the tracks and tends to purposefully overpower the drums at most points. Just in time for summer, Hypnophobia is the perfect soundtrack for driving down the coast.