“Life is about the journey, not the destination.” Everyone has heard this or some variation of it in their lives. The Garden, Sownbones’ debut album, takes this truism to heart.
Ryan Osterman, the man behind Sownbones (and Owl & Penny), lists nature and simplicity among the project’s influences. These influences are at the forefront of The Garden, an album that feels like a midnight walk in a botanical garden.
Take the mild folksiness of guitar and harmonica tunes of the 60s, then add every noise-making object you can think of (made for making noise or not), and you’ll have a decent approximation of Sownbones’ sound. Instruments listed on Sownbones’ MySpace page include glockenspiel, banjo, knees, and an egg beater.
While many bands use kitchen-sink instrumentation to cause a ruckus (Man Man comes to mind), Sownbones uses it to create an atmosphere. The project recently won 3rd place in our “Most Chill Song” contest, and it’s no surprise. This is not music for your next dance party. More for, as said earlier, a walk in the forest, or thinking about your future on a freeway overpass, or a joint under the stars (for any federales reading this, I mean “place” when I say joint. Like a hamburger stand. Really. Don’t take me. I’m too pretty for jail).
Or, in Osterman’s own words, from Sownbones’ MySpace blog: “I guess I was kind of thinking, ‘I wonder what you hear when you're dead and watching a time lapse of your life from physical birth to physical death."
You may not yell “Let’s fucking party!” when you hit play on The Garden. But you will calm down almost immediately, and then find yourself contemplating the things that are important. Check it out.