Soda Island have curated a jubilant aesthetic of candy-coated cartoon imagery that taps into nostalgia and the childlike wonder buried within. Of course, the accompanying music is paramount to making their creative direction sustainable, and with cuts like Izzard’s “Secret Garden,” it’s undeniably working.
Blazoned with a flowery creature on its artwork, the Merival-assisted track positions itself as an audible Eden, overflowing with pleasure in the form of acoustic guitar-work and a simple yet charming synth coexisting in harmony. Merival’s performance is equally essential to the atmosphere as her voice, gorgeous and distinct with a folksy tinge yet somehow emitting a comforting familiarity, provides a brief meditation on the tribulations of love.
As “Secret Garden,” loops over and over again through my headphones, I find myself in a cozy mental space within its fantastical walls, ones I imagine to be draped with lush vines overlooking waterfalls, a place brimming with wonder. To be honest, I’m not sure I ever want to leave.
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