“Garden” starts out with a simple situation presented with a simple, suburban progression. Patio guitar strumming, steady beat. An innocuous meeting, “what are you up to?,” “people coming over,” an invitation to escape from something banal and engage in something esoteric and mysterious – “I can pick you up,” fingers digging into the garden, reaching for dirt, an image popular with another whispery, intense Dad character – quickly explodes into something much more grand, frightening, and human. All those text messages left unanswered, or maybe just rocks tossed at the window, that thing the romantics used to do in small town TV dramas? Maybe another day.
Morgan O’Sullivan, the constant gardener of Portland-based project Boreen, along with some help from Harrison Smith on guitar, constructs the moment of climax before the crestfallen ducks their head and sighs, rejected. Maybe another day. He plays on toy instruments but manages to raise their timbre to a clattering finale. The softness is like a nest. A lot of emo lyricists (whispering like a bro-y Sam Bean about the persnickety constraints of social interaction is emo now) have literary aspirations, but often along the lines of a perpetually stoned and agonized James Franco, versus a perpetually drunk and stoic Hemingway. Few can write songs that are friendly, relatable, evocative, with a hummable melody and memorable lyrics. “Garden” certainly is. It’s the first track off Friends, which is coming out in March on Good Cheer Records (PRE-ORDER HERE), tastemaker of the Midwest DIY. Stream it below, somewhere where evergreens grow and streets are named after them.