Formerly of the New York based bands Brazilian Wax and the Ladybug Transistor, Jennifer Baron collaborates with vocalist Lucy Biehar to create the operatic, trancelike tunes of the The Garment District’s latest album. Entitled Luminous Toxin, the album contains witchy visuals, vocals, and instrumental stylings of the two artists, who are committed to supporting fellow female artists in the indie music industry.
They have opened for the lo-fi experimental musician Jenny Hval and the singer Julia Holter and are playing the lineup of Ladyfest Pittsburgh this upcoming weekend — a three-day festival intended to showcase female artists in the Pittsburgh music scene and beyond.
Baron herself is a native of Neptune, New Jersey, but has described being enchanted by New York city, especially the East Village, where she played with Brazilian Wax, and Flatbush Brooklyn, where she came into her own as a female experimental musician and artist, living “Fleetwood Mac style” with bandmates of Ladybug Transistor, while sharing space with bands like Of Montreal and Neutral Milk Hotel.
Garment District’s album Luminous Toxin is perhaps just the right soundtrack to arise out of this immersive meeting of minds. It is inspired by what Baron has described as the “archaeological” nature of New York City. Baron uses the cityscape as a material basis for a set of dreams on this album — “East 91st Street,” the opening track, sounds nothing like what you’d hear walking around the Upper East Side.
Instead, it’s thirty seconds of piercing beeps of varying frequencies. It’s The Garment District sending out a radar, seeing who will pick it up. Their music, much of it without vocals, doesn’t presuppose an audience, nor seem to require one. Yet despite its experimental nature, it’s pleasant, easy listening — especially the final track, whose title “Women Who Keep the Light” seems to describe the mission of Garment District itself. Airy synths and keyboards are layered over the sounds of the ocean. Let this album wash over you.
Luminous Toxin is available via Kendra Steiner Editions.