Max Levy is a one off. Previously going under the moniker ‘King Of Cats’, he started writing as Garden Centre in 2016. ‘A Moon For Digging’ follows the excellent ‘Strap’ EP in the form of a full length album. It’s pushed everything up a notch.
Recorded for the first time with a full band, this is a more ambitious sounding record.
What might divide people with Levy’s work is his unique high pitched voice.
This is something that could be equally said for Daniel Smith of Danielson, or Daniel Johnston, perhaps the closest reference points to Garden Centre. However, we happen to love them both. ‘Naked Ape’ is a strong and wide awake opener kicking off the album with Levy wailing “I get out of bed hearing a strange noise in the night”. The drums are four to the floor, dual keyboards lead the melody before two quite beautiful sections, either of which could serve as a powerful chorus on their own.
Latest single ‘Super Moon’ is a paisley tinged indie pop hit, while ‘Lucky Guy’ is a soft minimal ballad that suddenly explodes into life in the last minute in the vain of Neutral Milk Hotel. ‘Parasite’ is a really peculiar song, beginning like a very convincing old fashioned sea shanty before a woozy instrumental keyboard part introduces an exciting distorted almost Broadcast-like section that suddenly halts just when you’re getting into it and gives way to a short guitar accompanied vignette.
Half was point ‘Wheelie’ is a glammy fuzzed up indie pop punk belter, with buzzing guitars and distorted theremin. It’s a great hip shaking hit. For us it’s the highlight on ‘A Moon For Digging’.
The theremin also makes a return in the excellent jangle pop of ‘Wide Sea’.
‘Sorry Feeling Heart’ is an absolutely gorgeous lilting folk song as is ‘Get Drunk’, channelling Levy’s inner Bob Dylan, while ‘Spill Our Wine’ is a great pop song in a triumphant, Bruce Springsteen kind of way.
Despite having been releasing music for over 10 years now Max Levy sounds as wide eyed as ever.
You may enjoy this if you like: Danielson, Daniel Johnston, Neutral Milk Hotel, Pavement