Following up his stunningly constructed Cabinet of Curiosities, Jacco Gardner doesn't stray too far from the delicate yet complex psychedelia of his debut. Hypnophobia is a similarly towering layer cake of dulcet synth and swelling strums; this time making the framework of tales that walk the line between dreaming and wakefulness, a battle between the release of sleep and the pull of reality. The album moves in dark moon phases, vacillating between precious and creepy, echoing the theme of dreamscape and often sauntering into a disorienting territory that would leave more than one listener with a case of the night sweats. Consistently the album retains Gardner's 60's pop core, still feeling like a man thrust out of time and now using a hefty helping of studio accessories to keep the dream of lysergic pop alive. And though, he's certainly indebted to a large swath of the Nuggets generation, Gardner finds a way to make his homage feel fresh and not just a well worn retread of the past. He avoids any notion of a sophomore jinx and just pulls us further into the rabbit hole he's constructed.
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