Tape Tuesday: The Shimmering Pysch-Pop of Heavy Deeds ‘Garden Party’ CS
Heavy Deeds are a local band who roll at their own speed. Nowhere is this mantra more clear than on the late-2019 tape Garden Party that they released on Family Audio Recording label. The group had not released a new album since 2013, but their new(ish) tape of slowly unfolding, delicate pop music was well worth the wait.
Garden Party has the scent of a late-summer breeze, or a bar-b-que in a friends back yard, sensations that feel even more longing and expansive as we enter the second month of sheltering in place. It is a collection of songs oozing with the kind of familial warmth that could seem phony or superficial in other hands, but comes across as a genuine and heartfelt on these tracks. It feels like a modern pysch-pop take on a Fleetwood Mac album that was about growing old together, not cocaine and cheating. (But it could be about those things as well, who knows?)
The six songs on the album are a blend of shimmering guitars, dusty organs, lucid bass lines and shimmering vocals. From the 70’s gold of the title track to the sensual pop-funk of “Maude,” it is a record that showcases the talents of the five artists in the band who have proven their mettle in this project and in about a dozen other outstanding local bands like Under Violet, Robust Worlds, Invisible Boy and many more.
On album closer “Mr. Block” the group ride a pulsing, urgent drum cadence that is chased by rolling bass line and sweeping guitar picking. On top of it all is wistful vocals that sound like a dream. It is a whole album that feels like a bruised exposed under a warm blanket.
Like the simple-yet-psychedelic album cover, on first listen the record seems like it will fit easily inside a box, but it is a tape that has proven more layered than I first gathered. I’ve spent many months coming back to this tape, and only recently releasing that it has slowly become a staple of my musical rotation, especially on long walks during our social isolation. The mixture of optimism and weariness that the album excuses is a perfect antidote for our current situation.
Listen to the record below and buy the tape from the Family Audio Recording website.
Writer / co-founder