At the moment, while we’re all trapped in our own rooms for the foreseeable future, bedroom pop feels painfully intimate and prescient. Its lo-fi warmth wraps around the corners of my room, conjuring an ache for summer’s humidity. Certain tracks are imbued with airy nostalgia that feel both comforting and mournful. “Garden,” the recent track from Bristol-based musician herbal tea, has this precise mixture of stillness and ache.
Steeped in melancholic acoustic guitar and pearly piano bits, “Garden” is a gorgeous, foggy production that cuts deep at human awareness. Her vocals are gentle, but spooky like early Feist recordings. Similar to the tale of Adam and Eve, the narrator sings about being born in a garden and later embodying a pointless terror, wrapped in vines of good and bad memories, and overwhelmed by the anxiety of self-scrutiny. There’s no explicit biblical references, but it’s easy to imagine Eve reminiscing about Eden’s beginnings: “I was born in a garden when I liked being me before the burden of my body.”
herbal tea has me thinking about the beauty and ignorance of bodies before this complicated time, when I didn’t think one’s touch to an arbitrary surface could kill. They’re the reason for both pain and pleasure, contributing to life’s urgency and meaningfulness. Despite the wonderful things our bodies do for us, many times than not, they make life hard. Because of them, we experience limitations and prejudice. Man finds reasons to belittle or enslave certain bodies and deify others, deciding which bodies have the power. As we all know now, viruses don’t discriminate which bodies to infect. They spread to all exposed surfaces. It’s whether or not healthy bodies have consideration for vulnerable ones, if the younger ones keep in mind their elders, if privileged bodies humanize and help marginalized bodies. My worries have turned outward, aware that, if I’m not careful, the ostensible healthiness of my body could be the death of someone else’s. Bodies are a burden, but they are ours—each one our own responsibility for the wellbeing of another.
Listen to “Garden” below and check out the rest of herbal tea’s music here.