The Tranquilizing Underground of Grinch Gardner

Ethan Hamm   Staff Writer

Manhattan-based electronic artist Reed Gardner has been active since the release of his trance-like EP “Able Figure” in Jan. 2017. Going by the stage name Grinch Gardner, he released two more EPs in 2017 and in June 2018 he followed up with a new single “First Impressions.” The artist honed in on his new wave, electronic sound to create a definitive way for the synthetic instruments to complement each other with the vocals. This creates a sound that soothes, is flowy, and much more laid back than his previous tracks. “First Impressions” shows a more toned down, mature Grinch Gardner with vocals mixed at a similar level as the instruments, almost working as one. Not that the lyrics are at the forefront in importance, but his singing adds a final layer that seems obligatory to give an authentic vibe within the digitality.

Not only does Gardner sing and self-produce—he recently directed his friend and fellow musician Re-Animator’s music video “Shanghai Beach” to which he also remixed separately. This song has a sinister and industrial beat with vocals somewhere between gospel and devilish, which is a different and darker sound for Grinch Gardner. The eerie video looks like it was made entirely with tape, which adds to its eccentricity. This interest in vintage artifacts extends to cassette tapes. Grinch Gardner’s music is available on the big platforms like Amazon, iTunes, Youtube, and Soundcloud. He also put the “Shanghai Beach” remix on cassette, paying tribute to DIY/indie scene and to one of his multiple collaborative projects. Having different media is important since it attracts different audiences and related artists.

Another project Grinch Gardner has recently taken part in is Östersjön’s debut EP “Home.” Östersjön is a dream pop artist based in New York but originally from Sweden that Gardner has collaborated with. The third track titled “Tonight” he also edited the music video for, which is reminiscent of the raw “Shanghai Beach” visuals. Grinch Gardner is similar with his largely electronic based and lo-fi style, but Östersjön is even warmer and softer in an almost twinkly fashion.

Grinch Gardner does not have any upcoming events, but has notably played at a pub called Pete’s Candy Store in New York City multiple times. Don’t fret though, because he always has something in the works. Watch out for these possibilities and see what cool new projects are in store for this passionate artist.

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