Welcome back to the twenty-third feature from the Collective Series by The Idle Man. Where we meet up with interesting men who either work in the creative industry, or we just admire the work they do. Styled in our most recent collections, drops and interviewed by our feature writer Georgia Jackson. Read the full feature below as we believe it's more about what we do, rather than what we wear.
Meet Joseph Lawrence and Gibbi ‘The Garden’, the London-based musical duo who’s creating new and unique sound combined with free-jazz and soulful lyrics. Meeting four years ago they were unsure of their plans and trying to discover the music they wanted to created, until they landed on the comprised vocals of Lawrence and instrumentals from Gibbi – combining the free-jazz ambition of Kendrick Lamar with the soul-inflected ambience of D’Angelo for a sound that’s both musically complex and bursting with soul.
Working together on every single track they release the pair have a strong bond, with Gibbi saying: “When you’re working with artists, it’s very easy to see them get brainwashed. But Joe never has. And it’s because he’s as stubborn as I am. We both just want to do this. We don’t want to do anything else.” Sharing the same passion for music they each bring something unique and strengthen each other’s very distinctive talents.
Previously they have been described by Clash Magazine as “future-driven soul music with an outrageous sense of ambition” after releasing their debut single last year ‘Eclipse’. The track was about exploring lightness and darkness, two elements which are incredibly hard to capture however, they created something gritty, in-depth creating something nuanced by character. Striving to create something new that was as mind boggling as their last song they released their latest song at the end of June called ‘Celestial’.
Speaking about their most recent track, Lawrence states, “Celestial is the acceptance of separation and the ache of waiting, a nocturnal trip of desire, pain and satisfaction”. With the gentle strumming of just an electric guitar, the song takes a subtle turn with the introduction of a jazz-infused drum beat and haunting, angelic backing vocals. Clocking in at nearly six minutes, ‘Celestial’ perfectly showcases the musical ambition and complexity of what Joseph Lawrence & The Garden aim for in their songs.
To find out what’s goes on behind the music, The Idle Man is sitting down with the duo to hear more about their backgrounds and what they have in store for their fans in the coming future
- Tell us a little bit about yourselves, and how you would describe your sound?
People probably put us under the Soul music bracket, but we think that soul is just what makes music music. Without it, it’s nothing. We’d describe our sound as intense, poetic, passionate, intricate and haunting. A juxtaposition between love and hate, to an extreme.
- How did you guys form?
We actually started off writing with Joseph being the sole artist but as we wrote more and more, we thought the music had something special so we decided to make it Joseph Lawrence & The Garden.
- You guys released your debut single last year, how did that feel?
It was great to finally be putting music out. There was a bunch of songs which were ready to be released as first single but we’re really glad we chose Eclipse as it featured many of the things we consider major characteristics of our music.
- Did you enjoy creating the music video for your song ‘Eclipse’?
This was a great experience for both of us and a real milestone for JL&TG. Joe actually came up with the initial concept for the video himself and we’re really happy we kept it simple, so the message wasn’t lost. It’s inspired us to do more.
- Was music always a passion of yours growing up?
We’ve both loved music from a young age and feel like our lives so far have delivered us into our respective roles which gives us a lot of confidence as artists.
- What’s it like standing in front of a crowd performing your music and having everyone starring back at you?
Gigging is really special for us. We don’t do many because we’re always in the studio writing so when we do decide to do one it’s great - we get to hear the songs in a different context and played by some of our favourite musicians which brings a whole new energy to it.
- What other interests and hobbies do you have besides music?
Joe - health & fitness is very important to me so I work out a lot and I’m quite disciplined with what I eat. I’m vegan and have recently started intermittent fasting. I’ve got a really good relationship with food at the moment.
Gibbi - psychology and art are two things I’m really interested in. I read and go to exhibitions as much as I can. I got music from my dad, but these are from my mum.
- Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration for us can come from lots of places; things going on in our personal lives, observing the world/people around us. There are a lot of references to nature in our songs. Also, with the way we write - joe writing the melodies and lyrics, Gibbi (The garden) writing the music - we find each other’s decisions influence where we go with any given song. Bouncing off each other means we push each other to be more creative and braver than if we were being influenced by external opinions/ideas.
- Tell us about your song ‘Celestial’, is there a meaning behind it?
Celestial is about knowing you can’t be with a person but still loving them regardless. I think this is something everyone goes through at least once in their lives. I felt this was similar to staring up at the moon and despite it being so impossibly far away you can still be in such awe of its beauty. – Joe
1 0. What are your plans for the second half of 2019? Any new music in the pipeline or performances coming up?
We’re actually in the final stages of finishing our album which is a huge deal for us as it’s something we’ve been for a long time. We’ve also got some really cool support slots in some amazing venues.
- How would you describe your style?
Rugged and raw. Nothing too flashy. For gigs Joe styles both of us (and the band) because he’s got a good eye for these things but generally, we don’t like anything too manufactured - Gibbi