Bengali Cinema unravels in the mind like a moment of semi-consciousness unfurling oneself from a hotel bed into the gorgeous yet alien and distant morning sun.
Threesome Garden City Movement hail from Tel Aviv and they create warm Mediterranean dub step full of adobe-like roughly-sculpted edges and sun-drenched halos that encircle the melodies with a fizzy energy. The trio all carry out multiple roles within the band - Johnny Sharoni handling samplers, percussion and vocals; Roi Avital keyboards, guitars, loops and vocals and Yoav Saar keyboards, samplers and guitar. That list should give some sense of the swirl that makes up the four tracks on this EP, lots of detail embellished with more detail for effect.
Bengali Cinema opens with Terracotta, a track that sounds like something Gold Panda left out in the sun until it got tired, emotional and struggled to move. Garden City Movement manage to simultaneously impart a sense of kinaesthesia within their music and yet also provide it with a thick, tangible sense of inertia… The detail in Terracotta moves quickly, but the emotions are dragging at our heels, drawing us back to moments from our past - loved ones and half-remembered times.
The somewhat endearing morbidity continues, with Love + Loss dealing with similar sensations of regret amidst warm and mellow sounds. A gently picked guitar and record player crackle open the track Lir, capturing all the dreamy Ballearic sunshine you could want and blending it into a gorgeously slow track that gently scatters itself in front of you.
The title track is the most overtly song-like moment on the EP, vocals seeking a way to escape with another. It is a beautifully cloying record - granting the sense we’d be having fun if we could just stop questioning what that even means. Garden City Movement have been likened to Friendly Fires, that thinking man’s emotive indie-house band, and it is all here in the slightly sunburnt and paranoid moments of pop… Which is to say I can’t quite get enough.
Bengali Cinema is the soundtrack for moments trapped in paradise, a holiday wished away on being home. It is never less than gorgeous, and yet it sounds like Sharoni, Avital and Saar all miss something else far more. A warm embrace and a little rain to go and walk in perhaps. Until then they will have to keep lounging by the pool and pretending to like it.
Bengali Cinema is out now through BLDG5, available from Amazon.co.uk on MP3 [affiliate link]. Stream the EP on Soundcloud below: