The Garden Shatters Boundaries with “Vada Vada”

By Emily Williams
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image via NMA

Jester costumes and fast-paced punk music makes the twin duo, The Garden, a band that is hard to pin down. Inspired by their dad’s 80’s punk band, Wyatt and Fletcher Shears came onto the music scene in 2013 with their debut album “The Life and Times of a Paperclip.” Since then the group from Orange County, California has signed with Epitaph Records, and recently came out with an album called “Mirror Might Steal Your Charm” and a single featuring Mac DeMarco, “Thy Mission.”

Upon first listen, it is hard to tell whether their discography is creative genius, forming a new era of punk-esque music, or whether it is a truly dysfunctional symphony of monotone vocals and random, discordant instrumentals. Perhaps that is their charm, and probably why I was drawn to them immediately, and keep coming back for more. Their sound is truly like nothing else I’ve heard, and from what I can tell nothing like anyone else has heard either. So much so that the two have labeled it as the made-up genre, “vada vada.” Now, whether that is pretentious or again, the work of two people reigning in a new era of experimental alternative music.

To delve more into their music, their sound is playful and sporadic. They will sing, or sometimes scream, lyrics about things such as businessmen who are bugs in disguise and drunk wizards whispering in your ear. Sometimes it's more serious like creating your own destiny or making music you enjoy despite what the industry may say. Behind these lyrics, the instrumentals include a variety of strong bass riffs, loud drums, and quirky electronics. Despite this sound being an acquired taste for some, it’s energetic, rowdy, and makes you want to headbang and dance around. Its music meant to be played loud and proud.

image via pinterest

Another thing to take note of about The Garden is their use of jester imagery. Whether it is on stage decked out in costumes, or their recent album art with jesters on it, the use of this is very effective. Based on what I’ve seen in interviews, the two use this to make their music sort of a mask. Jesters, historically, existed for one job: to entertain. I think what they’re doing is a critique of the music industry, to say that even though we are designed to entertain, we are also going to make you think with the intricacies of our music.

Overall, though I appreciate the pure imagination and freedom that The Garden uses to craft their songs, I would like to see them use their creativity in a more refined way. I think what they have now could be compared to rough drafts. I get that their whole thing is just to do whatever they want in a sort of genre-less bubble, but as they grow and develop as musicians, I would like to see a concrete style start to take root from the foundation they have now.

My favorite songs by them are “Call This # Now,” “No Destination,” “Clay,” and “All Access,” so I highly recommend giving them a listen and add these songs to your next queue!

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