The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg caters to all. Evident by the amount of various radio play their first track ‘Rafael’ has received the last month, the debut album has spoken to the masses, due to its scattered assortment of pop culture and emotions.
With tracks such as ‘Cavendish Square’ and ‘Southern Suburbs,’ this trio of boys have taken their accounts of their city Cape Town and revealed a connection to its places and faces they encounter, with echoing vocals and percussion.
Although this band punts their album within the pop sect, Beatenberg have a serious musicianship background, which shines through in the post-production process of the album. Intricate details heighten the listening experience, with additional piano compositions and finite guitar chords that melt together to expand and almost surprise the listener with a kwela elemental sound, as if marimbas and trompie instruments piece together the levels.
The quality of the recording progress stands true to its form, working in layers, as the harmonies bounce off each other.
‘Ithaca’ begins its melody with a drum beat suggestive of an immersive clicking sound. Followed by a guitar riff that hollows my ears out to a scene dressed with trickling juices, the track travels with depth as it progresses.
The sentiment lies in its appeal to cross pollinate genres, even its fundamental pop form. Smooth jazz is found in ‘Cavendish Square’ as Matthew Field embraces a soul feel in his voice. ‘Facebook Apologia’ has a more sensual RnB subdued feel, while ‘Echoes’ has a higher tempo with a more electronic keyboard element.
In its muchness, The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg is a collective sound, embracing musicality in a popular context and not defined by a particular niche moment. Mostly arranged by feel good hymns, different genders, races and ages will most likely be attracted to its niceties.
Words by Tamara Arden