Whether you are a fan of Skinny Puppy or The Legendary Pink Dots, you have surely come across The Tear Garden. Edward Ka-Spel of The Legendary Pink Dots and cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy were hard to miss since they have been active with The Tear Garden project for 30 years. They released their eighth studio album titled The Brown Acid Caveat 8 years after Have A Nice Trip. There were high expectations and this album undoubtedly delivered on them. The overall sound can be described as experimental, psychedelic electronic music which flirts with melancholia; however, more catchy moments are there as well. You may perceive it as soothing at times, while heavy at others. The duo experiments with sound and mind; they offer a new dimension of the electronic music you may not find as an easy listening material. The album evokes different feelings, those of nostalgia, loneliness, distress, at times even confusion. However, there are blissful moments, and they come together with the comforting thought that there are artists who deliver such a mind-opening and overwhelming sound experience. While they are far from “commercial”, I try to perceive the album in a wider sense of the word. The tracks which get the closest to the broader meaning of the word would be the opening track “Strange Land” and “Calling Time”. Although melancholic, they still provide (synth) pop elements with catchy phrases and danceable rhythm. While tracks like “Stars On The Sidewalk”, “Amy’s Personality”, “On With The Show” offer captivating, mesmerising and psychedelic soundscapes which draw you deeper into The Tear Garden magical world, “Sinister Science”, “Lola’s Rock” and “The Sound Of Space Escaping” show their focus on sound experimentation and improvisation. While “Kiss Don’t Tell” feels like a lullaby storytelling, “A Private Parade” goes back to the distinguishable The Tear Garden synth-pop format. “Seven Veils” is undoubtedly the most melancholic track which offers beautiful and breath–taking arrangements; the heaviness will hit you, but all the weight will be lifted at the same time. Ka-Spel’s hypnotic and, at times, narrative and almost whispering voice creates more depth and intimacy. The Brown Acid Caveat reaches the listener on a very personal and emotional level and the stories The Tear Garden tell with this exceptional album are here to stay, like our own memories.
Enjoy the “Seven Veils” video made by Virgil Pink!