Mere mortals spend a third of their lifetime sleeping. Brains function differently when it happens and many things occur while we are seemingly in our comfort zone but while we may be more vulnerable. Dreams, sleepwalking, nightmares, sleep talk and hallucinations are effects of the different phases of sleep and of our state of mind then.
Song wizard Jacco Gardner is back with a shadowy, evocative and phantasmagorical sophomore record that explores the sleep phenomena.
Even the artwork is thoughtful and brilliantly designed by Julian House, who has worked with the likes of Stereolab and Broadcast. Made of yellow for vision and red for fear, the sleeve encompasses different phobia that are linked to daily life or common culture, like the police, horror movies, explosions, brain scans or weapons…
As melodic as his debut, Hypnophobia appears groovier and more thrilling. Exit the whimsical side, this is a more intricate effort which cleverly covers its tracks, making none of the songs predictable. This new album substantiates his ability as a proficient alchemist.
The man can make you travel through time, space and mind, he nails it and wraps his songs in several layers. Showing a mad scientist side that suits his attention for detail, Gardner paints the anatomy of your dreams, wrapped in uncanny or angsty soundscapes, lush songs which are made of tunnels between conflicting emotions and throughout the unconscious.
“Before The Dawn” unfolds as the most complex, ambitious and hallucinating track on the record, its rhythm makes the listener’s adrenaline level rise whilst conjuring a myriad of mental pictures, one feels chased whilst being stranded. A sequence of cinematic genius that turns out unexpectedly.
The Dutch songwriter’s universe remains distinct, magical and eerie and Hypnophobia makes a coherent sequel to Cabinet of Curiosities, adding a much welcome edge. In the meantime, fairies have turned into policemen and flowers into evil wax dolls. Little Jane may have grown up and turned into Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion.
With a sonic puzzle that may rejoice more music lovers that aren’t necessarily into what has been pegged baroque pop, hypnotist Jacco Gardner has just proved that he has more than a few tricks up his sleeve.
Hypnophobia was released on May, 1st 2015.