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"Synth-Pop Not Synth-Pop"- An Interview with Garden City Movement

Just recently we were given the opportunity to interview, Garden City Movement over email. The Tel Aviv based group consisting of Roy Avital, Yoav Saar, and Johnny Sharoni made their initial debut in 2013 with the release of their single ‘Move On’. The trio are now shaking up the music world with their own ethereal take on electro-pop and R&B in their soon to be released album “Apollonia”. We were able to go into depth on their dream collaborations, thoughts on the digital age, and advice for new artists. Read on to hear each member’s unique opinion.

Can you give us a little background on the band? What instrument you play, when did you form, how did you come up with the name? etc. 

Roy – We’re a different kind of group in that sense, where no one has one specialty and everyone sort of does everything. So in the studio we’re all multi-instrumentalists. And this helps to create the variety in genres and styles. When taking our music to the stage it gives us more freedom in giving the song the exact instrumentation it needs.

Your music has such a unique sound that’s a mix of synth pop with R&B textures that I was immediately drawn to. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Roy – As a producer I allow myself to change and drift through genres. So no one specific influence. At the moment I’m listening to the amazing ‘Twin Peaks’ soundtrack, Andy Stott, New Order, Tyler the creator, and Arvo Part.

Yoav – At the moment I’m listening to the productions of Japanese artist Haroumi Hosono. I really love Moodymann he is one of a kind, also listening to everything Andras Fox is doing and since Sharoni introduced me to Streolab’s “Dots and Loops” I can’t stop listening to this.

Johnny– Only talk radio and Japanoise.

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How has being from Tel Aviv shaped your style of music and have you noticed any differences or similarities in the audiences from Tel Aviv, Europe, and the UK?

Johnny– Only in the aspect of ethnic culture and instruments that people brought with them to Israel and maybe because it’s a small city you get inspired a lot by other people, but other than that it’s the same western city as the rest. Internet kind of ruined it I guess.

Your latest single, “Slightly All the Time” is beautiful and such a cool vibe to bring into the music scene. Was there any specific inspiration behind the song?

Johnny– Our main inspiration is things that we go through in life so I can say that behind the song stands personal experiences which are always a trip.

What song or lyrics that you’ve written are you most emotionally connected to and can you take me through your song writing process?

Johnny– Each and every song is emotional and personal it’s hard to pick one (but maybe “Lir” is my favorite). As for the writing process it’s just going through things in life. Everyone is going through things, but not all of them have the urge to write about it.

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If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be and what would you hope to create?

Yoav – If I could choose to collab with any artist from all time I would definitely want Arthur Russel to be with us in the studio and to do some weird and beautiful music.

Johnny– Vini Reilly or Jason Pierce. With Vini I know it would be deep emotional music with Pierce it would be a requiem for your life.

Is there any other styles of music that you would like to explore as you progress as a band?

Roy – I think we naively continue to explore every time we create something new. So no specific goal, but to keep on changing and deepening our language.

Yoav – We always talked about making an ambient EP with no beats, I have a feeling it will happen one day.

What are some of the biggest struggles you’ve faced while trying to make a name for yourself in such a competitive industry?

Johnny– There are times when you feel that if you’re not in the UK/US it makes things hard for you as the industry mostly pays their attention to these places, but complaining is not something we do.

Do you have any advice for other up and coming musicians? 

Roy – Always be humble, no matter who you are, you still have a lot to learn. Listen to tons of new music every day, and make new music everyday. Don’t fall in love with your ideas as most of them aren’t good.

With the internet and social media being more present than ever in today’s day and age, how do you feel about online music sharing? Do you think that artists should make their music free and available to everyone? Should artists worry about how strong their social media presence is?

Johnny– First of all art should be available for everyone and nowadays it’s great that you can listen to whatever you like; compared to when I was a kid and you only had money for one CD. I don’t know if artists should worry but I know they are worried. So yes, it’s been a thing for the past 13 years. It’s good and evil at the same time, but that’s the time we’re living in. Embrace it.

The current political climate throughout the world is increasingly volatile. Do you think that musicians with a significant following should be using their platforms to speak out against the injustice in the world?

Roy – I’m good at making music, this is the way I communicate best (even if it sounds like a cliché). And I’m not that good at talking to people, but I’m always glad to give my music for a good cause (filmmakers and artists that I support their agenda). I think that is my contribution. I personally don’t think boycott can lead to anything good or productive, and if you believe you want to change something somewhere, music, art and education can make a big change.

If you could give your genre of music any crazy weird name, what would it be?

Roy – I think genres and categories aren’t necessary anymore. These days people just listen to anything good and inspiring, so if people like what we do and get inspired by it that is enough.

Yoav – Synth-pop not synth-pop.


With 2018 just beginning what do you have planned for the rest of the year? Anything we should be looking out for?

Johnny– Album out in March, touring, going through more pleasant and hardcore experiences. Kind of the same as every year.

Huge thanks to the band for taking the time to talk with us, make sure to check them out (their new album comes out March 16th) and stay updated with everything in Pure Nowhere!

Article by Emily Brower

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