Garden City Movement are a trio, and they recorded this debut album at their studio in Tel Aviv. Immediately ‘Apollonia’ stands out for its refreshing take on downtempo music, enjoying the intimacy of soul and R&B music but keeping the textures open and airy, with a few nods to freestanding jazz on the side. Songs like ‘Before I Fall’ and ‘For Tomorrow’ crackle with atmosphere, while other standout moments are the shimmering synths of ‘Ueno Park’ and the thick, intensely smoky ‘Now’. Meanwhile the low slung slow funk of ‘A Means To An End’ had me thinking of ‘Black Velvet’, in a good way – its husky vocals a good complement for the deep bass. Moments like these keep ‘Apollonia’ fresh and original, and the vocals are shot through with genuine feeling. Definitely an outfit to keep an eye on.
4 out of 5