Release Date: Mar 29, 2019
Record label: Beyond Beyond Is Beyond
Arriving a scant eight months after their debut, Natural Facts already presents a distinct evolution in Garcia Peoples' exploratory guitar rock. With a name that references the late Jerry Garcia, the New Jersey combo honored -- to a certain degree -- the immutable jam band spirit of their forebears on 2018's sunny Cosmic Cash, which introduced audiences not already in the know to the crafty twin-guitar stylings of Tom Malach and Danny Arakaki. Rather than retreading the tired tropes so diligently trotted out each summer by countless noodling festival bands, Garcia Peoples filtered their more obvious influences (Grateful Dead, NRBQ, Little Feat, Phish) through a contemporary indie rock aesthetic that celebrated the present over the past.
You won't get far with New Jersey quartet Garcia Peoples before noticing the unambiguous Grateful Dead associations. For a lot of bands, Grateful Dead worship stops at a reverent cover or a t-shirt design; Garcia Peoples commit. This begins with the band's name (inspired by just being really, really into the Dead) and continues in slippery guitar leads, dusty vocal harmonies, and elongated song suites connected by untethered jams.
Photo by Mariano Frisoli de Oliveira Natural Facts by Garcia Peoples Garcia Peoples jams, but Garcia Peoples is not a jam band. Sure, the antecedents for their warmly communal, faintly lysergic, unspooling swathes of dual folk rock guitar tone are tie dye mainstays like Vetiver, Akron/Family and, fundamentally, the Grateful Dead. And yes, there's a Moosewood dining, hacky-sack kicking, patchouli-smelling hippie-ness to these songs.