The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton


Mar 01, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

If one wants to understand the difference between merely writing a song and composing a song, listen to 99.9% of contemporary music, and then turn on Clogs. Composed by Padma Newsome during a residency in 2005, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton features some stirring compositions that walk the line between classical and something else entirely.

Clogs spent two years recording and then another year and a half mixing this follow-up to Lantern, and the care and attention comes through in every song. Rarely does a note feel out of place. Such mannered and stately music doesn't usually possess such a heartbeat. This liveliness if often lent by guest vocalistsMy Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden, Sufjan Stevens, The National's Matt Berningerbut in a song such as "Red Seas," the percussion contains a warmth and fullness that could only come from careful and purposeful production and keeps The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton from feeling stuffy.

Matt Berninger (whose National bandmate, Bryce Dessner, is a founding member of Clogs) would seem an odd choice for such a project, but "Last Song" surrounds his lush baritone with fragile strings. The song is a bit of a loose thread in such an otherwise tightly-knit piece, but it also contains some of the album's highest points. Worden stands out as well, enough to hope for an entire My Brightest Diamond/Clogs effort. Her background in opera and the sparkling clarity of her voice provide a brilliant counterpoint to the hooting horns and plucked strings of "On the Edge."

Few bands make their effort appreciated but not felt; Clogs don't squeeze the music too hard, they let it exist on its own. (

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February 23rd 2013

With the new year now upon us, what better time to start thinking about giving your garden a makeover? It is not just wardrobes and home décor than can be refreshed and updated, your garden is an extension of your home and your style therefore it is time to start digging out those inspiration books.