Gardens & Villa was one of our favorite musical discoveries of 2011. The Santa Barbara, Calif. group makes music with more weight, soul and intrigue than many of its electro-indie contemporaries. Take the drum machine on “Star Fire Power” — it’s not there for kitsch or irony, it’s there as a welcome companion to the acoustic drum kit. Simply put, these complex, multi-layered songs recall ’80s innovators like Talking Heads rather than ’80s punchlines like A-Ha. Listen closely to “Thorn Castles” for a Fleetwood Mac nod (it’s just a nod, don’t get all SOPA on us). Stream this first session of 2012 at your leisure, it’s all yours.
Click here to stream/download/watch Mile Marker: Year 1 — featuring the best sessions of 2011.
Lisa Higginbotham is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.