Sometimes you stumble across a new discovery that just clicks and Rosemary & Garlic is my latest one of these true treasures. A quiet and unassuming release on Bandcamp, this acoustic wonder is a short and emotive 5 track EP and it’s called “The Kingfisher”.
Opening with “The Dancers” a soft finger picked acoustic guitar lays out simple arpeggios as the female voice, Anne van der Hoogan from Amsterdam, starts to lament over the increasingly more shoegazering arrangement. Her voice has a soft and mellow vibe but is taut and contains an element of raw emotion and distressed panic to it. Slightly melodramatic is the wrong way to describe it but as the drums burst in and the electric guitars hum sympathetically behind her it balances the calmness out perfectly with tension. “I’ll Come to You” see the folk duo lament guitars, flutes and sparse percussion to a lullaby waltz. There’s synths and piano and haunting airy backing vocal arrangements but they drift in and out so beautifully you almost don’t notice them. They don’t hang around either and just quietly compliment certain parts as the song’s melodic strength stands on its own two feet.
“California” has more bite to it and has shades of late Cocteau Twins with the way Anne’s voice is able to jump octaves and sound powerful and delicate at the same time. It’s marching drum beat and guitar strums leave an echoed emptiness throughout the track and it’s characterised by how light and empty it is, as well as how much of a good tune it is. “The Kingfisher” sees the piano come to fore in this delicate ballad. Equal parts Agnes Obel and Susanne Sundfor, it’s a heady concoction and reminds me too of those classic 60’s and 70’s albums from the likes of Joni Mitchell and co. It really holds that kind of quality and space. The EP closes with the fantastic “Old Now” which is as devastating as it is charming and elegant. The way how it transitions from an introspective folk song into a vast sea of noise and sound for its post rock outro is fantastic.
Put simply, Rosemary & Garlic are an absolutely revelation. The duo have crafted my favourite EP of 2015 and easily are in my top discoveries of the year, if not the last several. I want those songs to be on repeat over and over. It’s funny because the duo haven’t got any pictures online or a press kit to find out much more about them on yet. I hope I can help the world discover them.