In early 2013, Jacco Gardner released his debut LP, Cabinet of Curiosities, and soon after, the multi-instrumentalist and producer from the quaint little town of Hoorn in the Netherlands was soon known around the blogosphere. Spending much of last year touring Europe and North America, one would have thought that Gardner would be taking a break from the road. Yet, as a festival favorite and a wondrous soul, the 26-year-old returned to the States for a short tour following his appearance at Austin Psych Fest.
Last October, Gardner and his band played Portland for the first time. Returning to Mississippi Studios, the Dutch musician was accompanied by his fellow countrymen on bass and drums, a Brit on guitar, and a Californian and fellow Trouble In Mind labelmate, Frank Maston, on keyboard. Gardner’s love of '60s psychedelic music and vintage instrumentation are channeled through his magical potion of fantasy pop as intricate layers of sonic titillations unfold like a storybook. Along with tracks from Gardner’s acclaimed album, he played a couple of unreleased songs that may end up on his second LP. The set ended with the appropriately titled tune “Lullaby” (below), transforming the three-minute ballad into a nine-minute-plus odyssey.
Music is a great escape for many of us, but Gardner’s sounds are a portal to a world where the familiar and the unfamiliar amalgamate into a dream that'll reverberate in your subconscious. And all the while the man behind the sound will revel in jollity because merriness is as important as consummating his craft. Just look at the photos of Gardner and his mates enjoying the treats donated by Voodoo Doughnuts, a present of new socks, a walk with sparklers, and posing with party hats by night’s end and you may get a sense of his persona.
Watch Jacco Gardner play "Outside Forever" live at Mississippi Studios on Monday, May 12—filmed by Autumn Andel: