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The Churchhill Garden – Heart And Soul – the collection.

The Churchhill Garden – Heart And Soul – the collection.

The Churchhill Garden is the dreampop project of Swiss musician Andy Jossi. Jossi, who also releases music with The Blue Herons, is a lover of classic 4AD and Creation era shoegazing, dreampop and oceanic rock. Much like Saint Etienne, Jossi wanted to work with different singers to augment whichever piece he was currently working on. However he quickly discovered his muse, Krissy Vanderwoude (of Whimsical). Though Jossi still collaborates with other vocalists Krissy is now considered a permanent member of The Churchhill Garden.

A quick peruse of the groups Bandcamp page would be enough to win the hearts and minds of most shoegaze and dreampop fans. Their influences appear to include early Slowdive, latter day Cocteau Twins and pretty much all points between. ‘Polar Tales’ could have been an outtake from Milk and Kisses. ‘Evelyn’ brings the likes of Slowdive and Chapterhouse to mind. Hell, even the title ‘Evelyn’ sounds like it should have been on a Slowdive EP. Yet The Churchhill Garden are not confined to warm, melodic fluff. There’s a harder edge there too. ‘Noise’ shows its teeth and is more akin to a Curve than, say, a Lush Songs like ‘Breath’ are reminiscent of contemporary band Black Swan Lane.

Jossi releases most of The Churchhill Garden output as one-off, ‘pay what you wish’ singles. This is his choice but it is overgenerous. Work like this sure deserves an audience which isn’t easy for newer bands in these days of streaming services. I’m happier seeing this Heart And Soul collection come out, in lavish physical format no less. Heart And Soul brings together many of those ‘one-off’s onto one album. As a result of some careful sequencing Heart And Soul sounds like a coherent album despite being, essentially The Churchhill Gardens greatest hits.

Heart And Soul is insanely good value. There are no bad tracks here. Such consistent quality that I literally didn’t know which song to pick to include here. I eventually went for ‘Noise’ as it features Krissy and has a video. I could have picked any of its wonderful tracks.

Fall in love with sound again.

Editors note: The digital album includes 16 tracks at 1 hr 44 mins. The vinyl and CD physical versions are 12 tracks. Both have slightly different artwork to suit the space available. There are a few limited number of copies still available.



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