Gabriel Garzón-Montano: Jardín Review

By Savannah Olson
Music Journalist

Artist: Gabriel Garzón-Montano
Album: Jardín
Release Date: January 27th, 2017

Brooklyn based recording artist Gabriel Garzón-Montano steps out with his first major-label debut in the form of Jardín. Discovered by Drake and sampled on his song “Jungle” from the rap superstar’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Montano has already begun gaining traction in the music world. From touring in 2015 with Lenny Kravitz and electro-funk band Glass Animals, to releasing his EP Bishouné: Alma del Huila, Montano is more than ready to step into the spotlight with his breezy mix of neo-soul, funk, and layering arrangements.

What truly shines through on Jardín is Montano’s use of different sounds, like the clapping in “Sour Mango” and his own voice in “The Game”. He’s unafraid to layer his harmonies with a blend of funk-inspired instruments, adding newfound texture to an already complex sound. Jardín dances between neo-funk ditties like “Crawl” and “The Game” to softly crooned, piano-filled ballads like “Cantiga” and “Lullaby”. Jardín is like your favorite recipe of chocolate chip cookies: take away one ingredient like sugar or chocolate chips, and that touch of what makes it the most delicious cookie in the world is gone. The specific ingredients of Jardín, from the intermixing of sounds and beats, to the way Montano lilts his voice like its very own instrument, are all necessary to the overall record.

Jardín translates from French and Spanish to the same word in English: garden. Montano intentionally did this to fuse his multicultural background borne of his father and mother, a musician in her own right with Philip Glass Ensemble. The tracks on Jardín perfectly resemble a garden. There’s the ripe, juicy fruit like “Sour Mango” that causes you to feel warm and sated. Then there’s the prickly roses like “The Game”, that use the beauty of Montano’s voice to hide the dangers of greed with lyrics like: “And we bite with stolen teeth/clattering in finery”. In an era of repeated rhythms and beats, Gabriel Garzón-Montano’s Jardín brings the funk from past musicians like Prince and Sly & The Family Stone, while combining them into an innovated style of his own creation.

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