‘Apollonia’ is the name of various towns and cities throughout the world, but specifically Greece — and if you’ve been reading Mythos by Stephen Fry or are just generally into your mythology, you’ll know it’s the feminine version of the name Apollo, AKA that famous greek god.
Garden City Movement are as mysterious as Greek mythology. Up until this first full album, fans have been teased with a plethora of singles and EPs dating back five years, and award-winning cinematic music videos which revolve around teenage sexuality and love. The highly-anticipated debut from the Tel Aviv-based trio certainly makes up for lost time, sadly with the exclusion of ‘She’s So Untouchable’, arguably one of GCM’s best tracks.
It would be too simple to drop ‘Apollonia’ into the category of ‘electronic’, because there’s much more to this album than that. There’s an almost cut-and-paste edge to every song, like each segment has been violently jolted from its original space and smoothed down — but that’s not to say it doesn’t work.
There are sudden bursts of unfamiliar and exotic instruments — pleasant surprises that you don’t expect. ‘I Knew Before I Met Her (That One Day I Would Lose Her)’ features an intense saxophone solo which is very slowly built up on and executed perfectly. It’s brash and all over the place, in comparison to the smooth, contextualised beginning and end of the track.
The album experiments with a few different middle eastern and southeast asian elements, such as in ‘Rini’, where there’s a burst of xylophone magic which softly glistens throughout. For a couple of minutes at a time the tracks are completely without vocals, and submerged in various, glitchy sounds. Gently, as with ‘Foreign Affair’ you’re hit by a heavier synth beat which — exactly midway through the album — is a new element and alters the tone, shifting emotion out from the ethereal plane which was the first half’s location, and into a new, ‘90s inspired, heavy on synth sound.
As quickly as you were thrown into it, you are kicked back out onto the plane of textural-tech, but with ‘For Tomorrow’ it sounds more eager, more deliberate this time around. The sounds and different textures trip over each other in order to be heard next, frantically grabbing for your attention before settling back into the lyric-less journey you’ve found yourself wandering.
‘Apollonia’ is for fans of Jamie xx, Tame Impala, and SBTRKT, and all its elements have been combined and thoughtfully arranged in a way that makes sense. A solid debut for Garden City Movement — ‘ahsant, boys.
Words: Laura Copley
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