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Gardens & Villa set to plant its seed during Columbus show

Courtesy of Cara Robbins

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If the state of California were to be described through music, Gardens & Villa would likely embody that definition. The band puts a galactic twist on traditional surfer rock.

Although it can be described as indie rock and pop, some say it’s slightly tropical, said band member Adam Rasmussen.

“It’s a little like world music, I guess, with a little bit of percussion, flute and synthesizers,” he said.

Following a recent performance at the 2012 South by Southwest Festival, the band, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., is scheduled to perform with Fanfarlo at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Skully’s Music-Diner.

Gardens & Villa consists of guitarist and lead vocalist Chris Lynch, bassist and vocalist Shane McKillop, drummer Levi Hayden, and Rasmussen and Dusty Ineman on synths, piano, percussions and background vocals.

The house where they lived together on Villa Street and the garden in the backyard inspired the band’s name.

“We had all been in two different bands and played shows together before,” Rasmussen said. “Both bands kind of broke up at the same time, and we all, by chance, started living in a house together and jamming and writing songs.

“We collectively get together and write music and map out songs, but Chris does the majority of our lyrics,” he said.

Rasmussen said they were all raised making music.

“I started playing piano when I was 4, and Chris has been singing since he was a little guy as well,” he said. “Only the last, probably five years, have all of us really tried to take it seriously and treat it like a career.”

Rasmussen said they grew up listening to a lot of early ’80s music, which is where the band’s inspiration comes from.

“The Police and the Talking Heads, kind of like new wave bands, tropical and reggae,” Rasmussen said. “I would say Talking Heads was a pretty big influence.”

Its debut, self-titled album was released January 2011 and is a collection of the band’s experiences and dreams. It’s somewhat of a reflection of their lives, Rasmussen said.

“Generally, we find a lot of inspiration in nature,” he said. “We took a lot of hikes and we like to spend a lot of time outside, so I would say that there’s kind of a natural undertone.”

Rasmussen said he hopes the new record lifts people’s spirits.

“When I get a record and listen to it, I like it to kind of transport me to a different mood,” he said. “Hopefully when people hear our jams, it maybe fills them with a child-like wonderment and joy for the human experience,”  

Jeff Whaley, a fourth-year in history, said he likes the album’s “vibe.”

“I dig the funky vibe, especially in the song ‘Orange Blossom,'” Whaley said. “They have an odd sound that makes me feel like I should put a surfboard under my arm and run to the beach.”

Rasmussen said the audience can expect a lot of energy from the show.

“We like to dance a lot on stage,” he said.

The band is looking forward to Columbus specifically, Rasmussen said.

“It’s a really fun college town and it should be really fun night,” Rasmussen said.

Tickets are $12 at the door.

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