Jacco Gardner: "Where Will You Go"

Single (2012)

By P.M. Goerner | 18 February 2013

I hate to start things out by asking for a favor, but please forgive me while I reach into the distant yestertimes of last summer, when I set Jacco Gardner’s “Where Will You Go” on the kind of repeat that usually connotes a departure into the lunatic fringe. To my credit, it’s all in the spirit of impatience, really, as it’s just a foreshadowing for the dramatic arrival of Jacco’s killer new record, Cabinet of Curiosities.

Were I even the homicidal type, I assume “Where Will You Go” is the kind of narcotizing psychedelic pop gem that would have me trading in the gore-covered fishhook and slicker for a string of daisies and a muumuu—the kind of successfully unabashed antiquarianism that crystallizes the past into its own timeless world. In Jacco’s case, it’s more like a sort of eternal Sunday afternoon Renaissance Faire, where Bert Jansch and Sandy Denny are always co-headlining and constantly being interrupted by a boisterous, giggling Syd Barrett. If things start out a little too “Wonderwall” in the jangle department, it’s only a drum-roll’s notice before Jacco’s spacious harmony whips everything up into a kaleidoscopic tornado of color, and guides it all into stuttering step like a bouncing march of sleepwalking minstrels. The whistling synth melody that serves as Pied Piper to the whole affair seems to echo even after the song’s through, a kind of whisper-in-the-wind tune that seems to journey on and on beyond the edge of the fade-out horizon. It’s a dangerously catchy kind of nostalgic momentum.

“Where Will You Go” expertly and artfully betrays the cardinal ambivalence its title suggests. Jacco Gardner and his pals obviously aren’t interested in finding something to follow, already shoulder-deep in their own cartography as they are. This is the kinde of confident rhetorical advice that maketh minstrels into poets, dear companye. Ah, cripes.