FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY we have (very few) copies of the two Vacant Gardens pressed by Tall Texan. You'd be forgiven for missing both, given their local distribution and micro-pressings (they made 100 of each!), but this is music deserving of a much wider audience. VG are the duo Glenn Donaldson of Reds, Pinks and Purples (and a billion others) formed with vocalist Jem Fanvu, turning out two densely composed and immaculately presented records in quick succession. The pedigree speaks for itself, but there's magic here beyond the sum of its parts. Donaldson is an adaptable and expressive guitarist, his magpie eyes allowing him the dexterity to shift convincingly between styles, and with VG he's channelling late 80s gloom-laden dreampop with a particularly drum-machine driven British bent - think Pale Saints, Slowdive, Lush, early Ride et al. I'm likely to be a fan of anything Donaldson turns his hand to, but Fanvu shifts this particular take on noisepop skywards, her vocal oscillating between gossamer delicacy and grandiose melancholia with silky ease. Given how close together the releases of Under the Bloom and Obscene were, my initial assumption was that these songs were all made around the same time and split into two albums, but it might just be that they hit a winning formula on first strike. Under the Bloom is charming and obtuse, testing the edges of the collaboration, always at the point of threatening some ecstatic revelation, whereas Obscene seems to bloom outwards in a rapturous blast of shoegaze radiance. You know the kind of gold standard shoegaze stuff when you hear it - ineffable sadness that hides the sun. Sun's out, glums out. Blister in the slums.
Strictly one copy per customer due to low quantities.