GardenLakes is the solo project for twenty-one-year old David Sharpe. Between his studies Sharpe has been making music for three years which has emerged on his release The Hillside.
His ten-song album is a lo-fi electro/pop funk effort that features a lot of falsetto and hyperbolic vocal delivery. Some songs work better than others and although Sharpe isn’t showing us anything new with the songs the songwriting is solid throughout.
He opens with “The Truth” where he quickly introduces a smooth dub step style beat in the essence of an artist like James Blake. His voice is a little distorted for the smooth style he is singing but it works well enough.
Up next is “Floating” which features another solid beat and delayed, airy guitars. His singing style is different. He sings in a low hush as if he ingested a bunch of quaaludes before recording. “When We First Started” is more straight up funk while
“Painted Pictures” is an airy, dreamy song featuring yet another type of singing style that felt a little more straightforward. “Come a Little Closer,” “Won't Worry” and “The Hillside” were all formidable tracks.
Sharpe certainly delves into different territories on this album but everything still manages to feel connected. Nothing seemed out of place. His singing style reminded me of Beck (Mutations era), Jamiroquai as well as the singers who inspired them. Sometimes it did feel as if he was pushing it a bit hard and I would have liked to hear a more natural voice emerge. Overall, I still liked his singing and thought he still had a good sounding voice.
The Hillside took three years to make but Sharpe is still a very young man, I’d say this is a solid effort showing some potential. Recommended.
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