Florida Gardens are three guys in their early teens making dreampop songs. Several ones immediately caught our attention. With their self-released debut EP which appeared last November it is time to get some more background on these teens. We decided to get in touch and ask them some questions about how it all started and what their future plans are.
Florida Gardens is a dreampop band from Virginia, USA. Only recently the band added a third member, guitarist Aaron, who contacted them through Instagram. The other two band members are founders Chandler and Zack. (Yes, they all go by their first names only.) They met as kids and have been best buddies ever since. Chandler is the one who writes the songs, Zack does the vocals and produces the tracks.
Together they have written an incredible amount of beautiful demo songs. All tracks sound very mature considering their age (they are only 14 years old!). The songs have a dreamy and chilled atmosphere, which is not surprising considering their inspirations. They include Wild Nothing, Summer Heart and New Navy among their musical heroes. And indeed, you can hear the influence, although their songs are not yet as elaborate, and are mostly under-produced, as the band indicate themselves.
So how and where did it all begin? Well, actually it’s in the band’s name. “We started off in Florida”, they told us. “We went to an amazing meadow that was full of life and we thought, ‘Hey, why don’t we find a way to inspire ourselves here!'”. And so they did. They gathered instruments and started writing songs. It was that simple!
“Zack and I were just thinking of doing a song for our friends and family. That’s where our first song “Passion” came out. But I had a crazy idea that turned into what we have here today. It’s been a long journey and it’s only just begun!”
Their main ambition as artists is to be a successful band. They realise they have a long way to go, but also that they are still very young and willing to learn; they actively seek for feedback and improvements. They listen closely to and even study their favourite songs, resulting in an occasional cover: their amazing version of Summer Heart’s “My Forever Smile“. It gained a lot of attention, including from Summer Heart himself.
With the addition of guitarist Aaron a side project formed, called Doesn’t Matter. With Chandler and Aaron from Florida Gardens and new drummer Kenny they aim for a more rock driven sound. Their first effort is a demo version called “Used“. The track is indeed more raw and can best described as surf rock. Fortunately their dreampop sound is still present, making this an excellent song for your summertime at the beach!
The Florida Gardens “All Alone EP” contains seven demo songs and was released on Soundcloud last November.
The first sound of the EP is a pounding bass drum that fades quickly, making room for the dreampop melodies that continue to dominate the rest of the first track called “Sunset Boulevard”. The vocals and the guitars make it a harmonious pop song in which you allow yourself to be carried away easily. One of their best efforts yet. “Friends” is just as good, with a slightly more present acoustic guitar. It’s a celebration of friendship with their friends actually joining in. With the third song “You Are Mine” the tempo drops and we are treated with several delightful chill out songs. The EP closes with “Serenity”, a sun-drenched piano ballad, tending towards a background song for enjoying drinks at a terrace.
Given the ambition and young age of the band members we can expect many more beautiful things to come!
Florida Gardens are an unsigned band. You can buy their music at Bandcamp. For more information: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud