Jennifer Gentle Valende

Jennifer Gentle Valende
What with it becoming more common as of late to find psychedelic worlds being glimpsed at through an indie guise, it couldn’t be a more appropriate time for Jennifer Gentle to find themselves the latest addition to Sub Pop’s growing roster of esteem-worthy acts. Taking their tip from Syd Barrett and insanity in general, the Italian duo comprising Jennifer Gentle (both members are male, by the way) have crafted a beautifully surreal third album in Valende. Beginning on an ecstatically happy note with the early Floyd distorto-pop throwbacks of "Universal Daughter” and "I Do Dream You,” it isn’t long until things get mellower and more introspective with "Tiny Holes” and the extended #9 dream of "Circles of Sorrow,” a brilliant song that is part lullaby, part mystic trip, and all good vibes. After this is when Valende descends into some LSD-fuelled lunacy with the two-part psych-folk excursion of "The Garden” and the mind-peeling interstellar overdrive of "Hessesopoa” that interrupts them. By the end, things come full circle and the up-beat psych-pop returns, but not before Jennifer Gentle have proved themselves to be more than simple one-trick ponies content to cop on styles from the past. This spaced out duo seem as close and sincerely melded with the cosmos they exude in their music as Barrett himself was, and that’s no jive.

How is Valende a progression from your first and second albums? Alessio Gastaldello: I think that Valende is a synthesis of the previous albums, written and played with more experience and with a more defined idea of it. It is closer to Funny Creature Lane in its pop songs, while it is closer to I Am You Are for its acoustic moments. Anyway, Valende is different from the previous albums because it is better written, played and recorded, there is a story inside it — it is more like a general project with a global feeling that links all the songs together, from "Hessesopoa” to "I Do Dream You.”

Are your lifestyles and opinions as reflective of the ’60s as your music? Marco: Actually I like the ’60s but I'm not obsessed with them. I should say I do prefer the ’50s, anyway. Basically I live my life in 2005. I recognise that. Nothing can change that. I never liked to appear as a memorabilia mannequin or a bohemian boy. I just bring with me, in my everyday life, stored information inherited from the past. This doesn't mean that my music and my lifestyle are necessarily a ’60s thing.

Have you ever tried tracking down Syd Barrett for a jam session? Alessio: We are planning to do something in the future with him, keep in touch! (Sub Pop)