"I was a dreamer at a young age and the music from the '60s fits quite well with that."

Jacco Gardner is a strange bird on the music scene. Welcome to a young dreamer from the Netherlands, who, in his own words, exceeds in "light psychedelic pop music".

It's all new to me
Your music has a '60s, psychedelic feel to it. How come a young guy from the Netherlands plays this kind of music?

"I was a dreamer at a young age and the music from the '60s fits quite well with that," Jacco says.

"Today, where you can find anything on the Internet, it doesn't matter anymore how old music is or how young the people that listen to it are. It's all new to me," he states.

Twilight Music
We talk to Jacco on a train somewhere between Hoorn and Amsterdam. The view from his window seems quite suitable to his somewhat mysterious and psychedelic musical landscape.

"There are meadows and fields with sheep and such," he tells us.

It's twilight, getting a little dark, but the sky is nice and orange. Almost like his music and a track like the enigmatic The One Eyed King, one of his favourites. That, and for instance, the instrumental Cabinet of Curiosities are songs from his album that he enjoys listening to.

What's The One Eyed King about?

"It's about being surrounded by friends who are depressed or sad. So you start wondering if your own emotions are that important or not if others seem to have it much worse," he tells us.

The Zombies and Pink Floyd were good
He also enjoys inspirational songs like Hung Up on a Dream (The Zombies), Love (Old Man), and Pink Floyd's See Saw (and would have liked to have written them himself).

In this respect, it's natural that it's mostly other musicians' music that inspires Jacco when writing new material – including a few surprises and perhaps lesser-known artists:

"I really like Curt Boettcher, Tom Rapp, Billy Nicholls, Duncan Browne, Brian Wilson (from The Beach Boys, ed.) and a lot more," Jacco says, taking us on a verbal tour of his musical favourites.

Right now, Jacco is also touring with his band until February. He'll then take some time off to work on new material, before travelling to the US for Austin Psych Fest in May 2014, which he's really looking forward to.

I enjoy warm analogue sounds
What is your relationship to 'good' sound – being a part of a generation that grew up with MP3s and wireless interpretations of electric signals?

"I really enjoy warm analogue sounds. Every sound on the album is processed by tape and the like. I mixed the album on some old '70s hi-fi Phillips speakers called MFBs," Jacco reveals.

Not afraid of YouTube or Spotify

When it comes to online exposure, Jacco's not worried about the risk of drowning in a sea of social media, Spotify and YouTube artists.

"I don't know any better than that it's there, so it's hard for me to compare it to a time when it didn't exist. I think it's great that it's so easy to discover new music nowadays using services like YouTube or Spotify," Jacco explains.

He doesn't seem to care much about trends and fashions either. He just likes the music he likes – although there are obvious influences:

Towards new horizons
"There are some cool things happening. But in general, I still mostly listen to music that takes me completely away to another place. And this is mostly older music," young Jacco concludes as he speeds towards his destination under an orange sky.

Find out more at www.jaccogardner.com 

- Rune H. Jensen, rhj@dali.dk


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