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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Golden Gardens

Aubrey Rachel Violet Bramble met Gregg Alexander Joseph Neville in Tampa, Fla. when his noise project played at many of the art shows she curated. They kept in touch after Bramble moved to Seattle, and began Golden Gardens on the internet a few years later. It has since developed into a major creative force in their lives.

Golden Gardens is self-described as dreamscapes and anthems for magical minds with messages of alchemy and wisdom. I wish I could lie in a dreamy trance of ambient noise in the Seattle park the band is named after, only then could I fully appreciate the music.

The duo released their first album, Between the Siren and the Amulet, in August and has since released The Covers, an EP of music originally recorded by Creepshow, Morrissey, Red House Painters, Tears For Fears, Hole and Julee Cruise. Both albums are available on Bandcamp.

The Spec interviewed Golden Gardens about plans for the future and what makes them tick, read what they had to say and hear some tunes, below…

How long have you been making music?
ARVB: We have been making music as Golden Gardens for about a year and a half now. Prior to Golden Gardens we were both involved in other musical projects; I first started making music and continue to do so as one half of a cabaret act/performance art duo called Prima-Tertia with the lovely Micheal Hooker of The Living Arches.

GAJN: Before Golden Gardens I used to make harsh noise under the moniker Nowhere and have done my time in various synth pop, shoegaze and metal projects. I have been making music off and on since my early teens.

Who or what are your influences?
ARVB: Anything can be an influence. I am magnetically drawn to beautiful trinkets and sad stories, alchemical talismans and otherworldly beings. Anything that might make for a fantastical tale.

GAJN: Musically, my tastes have been running toward doom metal, post-punk and goth rock, along with dream pop and shoegaze. Movie soundtracks are also a huge influence on me. Trying to capture the way soundtracks communicate mood and atmosphere guides how I write music quite a lot.

How did you come up with your name?
ARVB: There is a park here in Seattle on Puget Sound called Golden Gardens. Not only is it an absolutely divine setting for taking in the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest, but its name makes it sound like some magical, mysterious hideaway in a decades-old storybook. It just fits our sound and aesthetic so well.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
ARVB: We are finally going to be living in the same city (Seattle) for the first time since forming the band, so we are looking forward to playing live shows on a regular basis and really getting out and supporting our debut full-length, Between the Siren and the Amulet. We are also working on putting together a European tour for later this year.

What inspires your music?
ARVB: Lyrically, I am inspired by fairytales and fables, Greek mythology, art nouveau and art deco, experimental and avant-garde film (Maya Deren is a favorite), candy-colored jewels and Parisian aesthetics, crystal vibrations, Native American spiritualism and the sea.

GAJN: I am inspired by events in my life, books I have read, movies I have watched; surrealist films, weird horror, wrought iron gates, Celtic and Norwegian mythology.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
ARVB: Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) is just so talented in my opinion. She is a huge inspiration along with Alison Shaw, Robin Guthrie and Elizabeth Fraser, Robert Smith, Daniel Ash… basically I am stuck in a 90s dream pop time loop when it comes to music I admire. Newer stuff that makes me tingle: Phantogram, A Place To Bury Strangers, Chelsea Wolfe… Anything that’s a little dark and a little sparkly.

GAJN: The Cure, The Smiths, Katatonia, Agalloch, Portishead, Bauhaus, Alcest, Joy Division, and a million and one other bands.

Why do you make music?
GAJN: I can’t stop making music. For a few years I wasn’t writing or playing and I was utterly miserable. Creating music really makes a noticeable difference in my mood and my life.


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