Hypnophobia features a Wurlitzer electric piano, mellotrons, harpsichords, an obscure, ancient Optigan and an antique Steinway upright — these are relics of a particular nature, hand-selected and played to achieve a baroque pop period piece. Initial single 'Find Yourself', its trippy video, and the title track confirmed the record’s exploration of a retro-psych wonderland. But it’s not all acid trips, and moments of real introspection appear.
Listening to the full album expands Gardner’s scope considerably; there’s 'Make Me See', a quiet, unexpected songwriter number that barely lasts a minute and a half. Or 'Grey Lanes', an almost pastoral, instrumental lullaby that only gets electronic toward the tail-end. On Hypnophobia, Gardner takes psychedelia and twists it to suit his idea of what blissed-out baroque should be. If late-’70s residents of Laurel Canyon re-imagined themselves 40+ years later with an expanse of antique instruments, they probably couldn’t have done a better job than Gardner has of creating their own modern, alternate reality. It’s a heady, hypnotising look at the past through the always rose-colored glasses of the present. Backward glances rarely sound this good.
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Nominated 'Best Independent Retailer' at the Music Week Awards in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Nominated "Indie Champions" at the 2015 AIM Awards.