I Started A Garden
Indie Rock/Pop sounds explode out of the newest offering from Her Skin - ‘I started a garden’. The album is sincere, wholesome and varied in a way that many indie pop/rock bands seem scared to be as of late. Songs range from slow acoustic numbers to bold rock-outfitted bangers. Her Skin show off their amazing production ear and musicality in these tracks, a profound step into the scene by a band that absolutely must make more albums.
I started a garden starts off with a slow acoustic number titled, ‘bones’. The vocals are sublime and the instrumental reflects that. It is done so well that you are led to believe that the rest of the album will sound like this but as we will get to hear, that is not the case. The flow of the song is soft, a lazy river that brings you through chorus and verse with soothing vocals as your guide. The beat does build using muffled percussion and harmonies to give a sense of scale. The effective use of silence also does this song wonders, allowing the vocal quality to shine through the clippings and shiftings of fingers on guitar strings.
Moving swiftly on to ‘confident’ the band kicks into a much higher gear. Chorus galore, drums tight as all heck and open chords to sing us in. The song plays like an indie rock classic within the first twenty seconds and ramps up from there. I must warn you, the chorus will knock the air out of you as it steals volume straight from your lungs. It is high, open and catchy, ticking all the indie rock boxes. This theme continues into the rest of the album.
Her Skin have displayed as much as they can about themselves and their styles in I started a garden. ‘older’ poses a slower version of the sound we were introduced to in ‘confident’ with a climbing and falling (almost breathing) guitar pattern that sways with the vocal melodies, the song builds to a smooth and complex finish with pads and strings and my favourite guitar tone of the season, what a texture. ‘sober’ shows off their pop ear. The song uses modern percussion and a higher vocal to catch attention. The guitars push the song along and we are treated to some beautiful harmonies. The bass does some hard work in this song, due to having a more minimal instrumental the bass fills every gap that it can and it does so with hair-raising charm. The song blows up into a gentle climax that uses, again, some wonderful instrumental textures.
My favourite song on the album is ‘heavy-hearted’. It is simple, smooth and for me, shows off exactly what Her Skin can do. The vocals hit the tones of Olivia Rodrigo but the instrumental is far more alive and sharp. Little drum fills keep the ear alert and the guitar and bass work together like old friends. For some reason, I’m getting early Blondie vibes with Her Skin. It's a clashing of modern sounds and old stylings. Experimental numbers like ‘suitable’ break up the indie rock splendour that can be heard in slow-smooth ravings like, ‘changing’ and ‘forget me’ - two songs that build further on the harmonic subtleties that Her Skin will no doubt be known for.
Closing song and closing thoughts. ‘it’s hard to breathe/I started a garden’ is a beautiful song, one that tells a clear story that we should all listen to and reflect upon. It’s an acoustic wonder and a showcase for efficient songwriting. Her Skin show what can be done when you focus on melody and emotion rather than complexity, they save that for tones and textures. All of this together allows for this instalment in their discography to sing loud and clear, that Her Skin will do as they do, and boy will they do it well.