What’s the most bizarre, funny Christmas release you can think of? I can guarantee that the new single form Conch Town Records signing Gary Hempsey will be up. The beguiling, bizarre, humorous, and still musically rich and intelligent new single ‘Ganja Gnomes’ from Hempsey is brilliant, and I’m very excited to be writing this premiere.
I don’t thin I’ve ever before heard a track about garden gnomes who cultivate cannabis, and that’s part of the bizarre appeal of Ganja Gnomes – it’s a journey, a story unlike any other. Bringing together surreal, witty story telling is Gary’s lyricism with a warming bluegrass-come-americana soundscape, Gary’s musical maturity and abilities as an instrumentalist are on full display.
A mix of folk and country instrumentation makes up the soundscape. Acoustic guitar, fiddle, mandolin, bouncing bass and driving drums, the track is also adorned with psychedelic tinted guitar and subtle vocal processing giving a contemporary edge to the roots backbone. Gary’s effortless, warming, slightly smokey, husky lead vocal shines – the voice of an artist who has spent years playing live and perfecting his tone.
Throwing in a few solos on acoustic, electric guitar and violin the track showcases some serious musical prowess despite the light hearted tone of the subject matter. Speaking further about the witty, mildly insane, yet incredibly creative story behind the track the track, Gary explains:
“I was in my studio and went out into the yard. I have a few old garden gnomes out there kinda hidden in a bush, I looked at his face and noticed another one that the bush grew around so I thought these guys have lived here for a long while. Then my imagination ran a bit wild…
I thought up a scene where they were listening to the music from the studio and came to life. I started writing as if they were the garden keepers who also like to party – They take care of the garden but also grow pot on a very high level. So I made up characters and made them into a band. I took a guitar outside and started writing, I thought they would play bluegrass with an electric twist so I did what bluegrass doesn’t do – I added drums and electric guitar, Haha, like Zappa meets bluegrass. It’s a fun song that’s very upbeat with characters that come to life.”
A brilliant track which is no doubt musically water tight and full of great riffs across the board, the track is also brilliant fun – a celebration of getting baked just in time for Christmas for everyone who’s tired of the same old recycled hits each year. Listen below: