The music video for “Iron”, which is the first single of Garda’s new album “Odds”, gives us a glimpse through the eyes of the protagonist. We find ourselves stumbling through the woods, helpless and a little shaky, like a young fawn. As if in slow motion, the dense firs in the background fade away time and again. “Oh, it feels like nobody’s home / Yeah it feels like that, when your sorrows leave their hole”. Meanwhile, we duck ourselves under branches and pinecones, somehow in a trance but simultaneously aware of every step we take. Our eyes stare down at the ground. Our eyes gaze up in the sky. With “Iron” as a final song, Garda closes the album and somehow this is what this song is – closure – for a breakup, from a distance, sober and alone. The protagonist deals with it in a prosaic fashion. And yet, the song is so musically dense that there is a constant tension between its lyrical narrative and the instrumental complexity and underlying emotion.
The nine songs that make up “Odds” deal with apparent contrasts. Every time a song appears to be tangible, it dissolves right in front of you. Rearing instrumentals follow slow, viscous moments. The songs soar, again and again, with the help of uncommonly dense sound structures, so that they eventually become orchestral entities fueled by string players, wind instruments, vibraphone, pedal steel guitar and percussion, and then they eventually collapse. Garda, essentially a sixpiece from eastern Germany around singer and songwriter Kai Lehmann,always embraced a very open and collaborative form of up to 11 musicians on stage at a time. Even more so in the studio.
„Odds“ wasn’t an easy album to make. The countless concerts for its predecessors “Die, Technique, Die!“ (2008) and „A Heart of Pro“ (2012) had taken them all across Europe, playing festivals such as Maifeld Derby, Orange Blossom Special, Eurosonic, and the Communion Nights in London, as well as a 10-day-tour through Japan for their Japanese label Moorworks.