It’s summer; what better time to get into the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s? Whilst not actually being alive and present during that decade, Jacco Gardner is here now with a strong intent to bring the best of psychedelic, baroque pop – and even a touch of surf – to the modern day. One listen to his latest single “Clear the Air” is enough to become hooked on the Netherlands singer, songwriter and musician.  There are vocals reminiscent of The Beach Boys and a chord structure with echoes of “Nugget”, compilation classic “Liar Liar” by garage band The Castaways.

Gardner’s been experimenting with making music of all styles from a young age. “I started making music when I was about 8 and my parents signed me up for some basic music theory lessons and I got to learn the recorder, from there I moved on to Clarinet, Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Keys and some Violin. I guess becoming a musician was really initiated by my parents”, he explains. Of course, with age, Gardner has since found his focal influences, which he cites as “the psychedelic 60s and baroque pop music. These were mostly studio projects where the songwriter or artist also took over the role of producer and could really start experimenting and work out everything they could think of themselves. Important artists/producers in this genre would be Curt Boettcher, Billy Nicholls, Syd era Pink Floyd, The Zombies, Brian Wilson and Love but there are of course many more.

Jacco Gardner is also part of a freakbeat two-piece called The Skywalkers, but is currently focussing on his solo work, and with that comes full responsibility of songwriting. “Writing songs can happen in different ways for me. Sometimes I start off with some lyrics but mostly the music comes first. I must admit I find it a lot harder to write lyrics than music. When there is a basic idea in structure, melody and chords I find it really easy to add layers until there’s a complete arrangement”, he reveals. Indeed, a strong sense of layering can be heard, particularly in upcoming single “Where Will You Go”, which evokes a medley of emotions: from trippy, to melancholy, to mellow, and joy within a perfectly-structured few minutes.

If this isn’t enough to persuade you that Jacco Gardner is one of the best new artists around at the moment, read some comments on his videos. One Youtuber calls his sound “Beatles on acid” while another makes a bold, but true statement- “the best musician of 2012 by far.”

Fans of TOY, The Beach Boys, The Horrors and Pink Floyd need to listen to Jacco Gardner immediately, equally, fans of all great music should do the same. Gardner is an unmissable and promising act who will not disappoint. | jaccogardner.bandcamp | | theskywalkers.bandcamp

About The Author

Chloe Gynne

Music Journalism student at UCA. Obsessed with music, film and comedy. Musical favourites include Placebo, Manics, PJ Harvey, Elliott Smith, MBV and Metronomy. Makes a great cup of tea. (@chloegynne)