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Avia Gardner: More Than Tongue Can Tell

There are very few things as inherently poignant as old photographs, particularly those which have become detached from any sense of place, person or time and are left to stare out with sun-bleached anonymity until they are eventually discarded; taking their wafer thin slice of history with them. Working from a found image of a sepia-tinted little girl (included on the cover), Avia Gardner was born in order to give a voice and persona to this absent child by Jenna Robertson and Mitchell Akiyama. Avoiding the numerous pitfalls that habitually blight such contrived endeavors, ‘More Than Tongue Can Tell’ is a gorgeous collection of dream-etched pop soundscapes that readily bear comparison with the likes of Midaircondo, Piana and even Angelo Badalamenti. Sumptuous throughout, the wheezing and cloudburst compositions range from the microsound flushed stylings of ‘Dread and Dreaming’ through to the clockworktronica of ‘Oceans of Almost Running’ and the gleaming uncontrived peaks of ‘If You Lose the Key, Throw Away the House’. Gifted with the ethereal vocals of Robertson who casts meandering webs throughout the spacious compositions, lines like “I’m sitting alone but I hear you breathing, I’ve been wandering this city for thousands of days, I watched a boy on the bus who was writing, he wrote the word lonely on five different pages” are instilled with a grandstanding potency that defies cynicism. Bolstered by a couple of Tony Boggs remixes and some lovely themed packaging, Avia Gardner is unlikely to be cast aside again.

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