GARDENS & VILLA, THE URBAN LOUNGE, Wednesday, March 5, 9 p.m., $10
One wouldn't expect a band based in sunny SoCal--Santa Barbara, to be exact--to look to the remote, cold hinterlands of Michigan as an ideal recording environment, but Gardens & Villa found just that when they headed to Benton Harbor to work with producer Tim Goldworthy on the band's winning new album, Dunes. Even with the dramatic shift in the world outside the studio door, the sounds on Dunes retain the vibrant, sunny styles of the band's debut. You'll find some funky moves on songs like "Bullet Train," and synth-pop along the lines of Depeche Mode in other places, with songs like "Colony Glen" and "Thunder Glove" offering dance-party firestarters. Contrast those songs with some pretty piano-led excursions, and you have a remarkably well-rounded album from a young band to watch. Waterstrider and Bright Whistles open the show.