The Garment District "Flowers Telegraphed to All Parts of the World"
On their second full-length LP, The Garment District delivers a Kunstkabinett of sound reminiscent of the Manhattan neighborhood (and others around the globe, both existing and shuttered) with which they share a name. Just as one might wander through a Garment District shop entranced by a staggering display of fabric from seemingly every era and locale, surrounded by rows of buttons, threads and trimmings, listeners will be equally entranced by the hypnotic array of textured sounds on Flowers Telegraphed to All Parts of the World.
The album was recorded in a friend’s home studio nestled in the labyrinthian hills of Western Pennsylvania during the time warp surrounding the pandemic. For composer and arranger Jennifer Baron (who plays numerous instruments on the album), settling in at David Klug’s studio atop Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington allowed her to stretch and challenge herself, creating expansive arrangements. In another lifetime, just miles away within nearby hills and hamlets, Jennifer’s great-grandfather arrived from Zagreb, forming a family band, a tamburitza orchestra featuring her grandfather, great-aunt and great-uncles, who performed in Monongahela Valley steel towns. Jennifer’s work with her first cousin Lucy Blehar, who supplies lead vocals, continues this family music-making heritage.
Along with guitar, bass and drums, listeners will encounter a full suite of strings, horns, a variety of percussion, and finely woven keyboards and vocals. Some parts were improvised on-site, while others evolved at home, highlighting Jennifer’s collection of analog keyboards before being translated into final recordings. Having the opportunity to experiment with equipment borrowed from friends, like a rare 1970s Roland Paraphonic 505 and a 1960s UMI Buzz Tone Volume Expander, shaped the exploratory process of crafting dimensional melodies and instrumentation. The result is a gilded tapestry of pop music history that is both panoramic and idiosyncratic.