Fantasy Gardens is Gal Gracen’s first full-length LP, a collection of elysian pop ballads dressed in a new age aesthetic pondering the nature of romanticism in the human world. Across 10 tracks,Geraghty layers harps, wind instruments, analog synthesizers, and samples from 1950s easy listening LPs to channel styles that vary from lonely surf (“Grass Mask”) to krautrock (“She’s the Queen”), AM pop (“Today or Tomorrow”), and celestial waltz (the Enya-inspired “Is It Alive?”).
Named for the scandalous theme park and flower garden that brought down British Columbia’s government in the early 1990s, Fantasy Gardens ruminates on the limits of truth and beauty, and the concept of a pure fantasy divorced from vanity. Recorded by Jo Hirabayashi (Jo Passed) and
mixed by David Parry (Loving), the album was recorded over three years in Vancouver and Victoria, with additional tracking in Ho Chi Minh City, and, briefly, on Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia.
Gal Gracen is a luminous projection of atmospheric bedroom pop generated from the soft-focus escapism and existential musings of singer/instrumentalist Patrick Geraghty (along with a host of collaborators). Since 2013’s exotica-tinged “Blue Hearts in Exile” (Green Burrito Records), Gal Gracen has explored cinematic sounds and melancholic moods across a number of eps and singles that have varied in style, but that all share a common fascination with the psychic dreamlands that individuals create and inhabit.