LA Life and Style Music Notes
The Mediterranean Gardener Out August 27 on Yep Roc Records
Listen + Share: “12 Bars” | YouTube streamer
Los Angeles, Calif. – Isla has unveiled “12 Bars,” the fourth single from the forthcoming debut album, The Mediterranean Gardener, out August 27 on Yep Roc Records; listen here.
Released first as a Bandcamp exclusive, the digital-only The Mediterranean Gardener is acclaimed singer/songwriter Josh Rouse’s new solo project. With gorgeous chilled-out electronica, the nine-track album provides a refreshing musical tonic for these stressful times
Of “12 Bars” Rouse says, “It’s the only song I co-wrote on this record. Daniel Tashian is a friend and collaborator. He had been on a bar crawl the night before and he got something like nine in. We laughed at not being able to roll like we used to and came up with the concept of 12 bar blues referring to the actual nightclubs, not bars of music.”
Recorded mainly at his small studio near his Valencia, Spain home, Rouse created the instrumentally oriented set during the confines of 2020 relying on keyboards and Roland Cloud samples. It’s “a stress-free atmosphere with breezy, improvised electronica,” says Rouse. “I was really just looking for vibes that were soothing. I didn’t want anything that was aggressive.”
From the eerie Eno-like ambient opener of “Buenas Noches Baby” to the Brazilian chords and melodies of the Jobim-esque “Color De Vida,” the album is an alluring mix of lyric and instrumental tunes that meld together so smoothly that they feel more like a whole piece of music rather than a collection of songs. Realizing the music was far from the guitar-based, storytelling style for which he’s known, Rouse felt it needed its own name and Isla was born.
Rouse was joined on the recording by Tashian, who plays keyboards and Linn drums on “12 Bars”. The album was mixed by longtime producer Brad Jones and mastered by Mike Westbrook. The distinctive album cover was designed by Rouse’s wife, artist/singer Paz Suay, who also provided backing vocals on “12 Bars” and “It’s Not Too Far.”
The Mediterranean Gardener Tracklisting:
1. Buenas Noches Baby
2. It’s Not That Far
3. Color De Vida
4. 12 Bars
5. A Sunny Day
6. For The Love of a Girl
7. Night Moves
8. Until the Sun Comes Out
Pre-order the album here.