In Tulsa’s rising, local music scene, there was once a band named The Lukewarm. A very infectious, psychedelic band that was quite popular around the city. They went on to do many shows and performances while garnering a large audience. The group’s output seem to decrease and from that spawned a very peculiar duo that were once the lead singer and keyboardist for the four man band. Campbell & Gardner, which what seemed to have been started as a side project, has fully progressed into the enigmatic tag team, tongue twisters they are now.
Their first project was released in 2015 and was a brief, confusing glimpse into a sound that didn’t seem cohesive or organized in any form or fashion. Songs unforgivably changed directions in genres and are genre-bending all together, yet the talent behind the music is still recognizable. The keys are dynamic, the vocals are extremely experimental and warped, but strokes of genius show themselves after repeated listens. The track “Stiff Like Bic” sounds like if you were to watch the cartoon Bambi on many different types of drugs that don’t mix well while Kanye was performing in your bathroom. The Tale Of The Lads And The Tussin’ was their first footprint on the local music scene.
After this project, there was a brief moment of down time where they weren’t releasing anything and it seemed like maybe Campbell and Gardner was just a side project of two minds who didn’t want to fit anywhere else in music. But then they did the unthinkable this year and released over 400 songs at once. It is known as “The Holy Book of Crude Oil”. A very thematic piece of work. A majority of the songs are centered around the theme of “oil” and are not for the weak-hearted. This is where we see their right hand man, yungsnickers, another local artist, become very prevalent throughout the project. The tracks on this project lose their heavily-exaggerated experiments and run in the vein of hip-hop, making it easy to draw comparisons to artists like The Based God and others who have a quantity over quality mindset– leaving their audience to determine what’s worth listening to and what isn’t. But what makes this duo special is they have the ability to reach outside the realms of traditional genres and the additions they make, sonically or vocally, place them as one of the most original groups I’ve heard. I’m working on making a mix of my favorite tracks from this project, but apparently it’s still being updated, so who knows how long it’ll take me to digest everything.
The Holy Book of Crude Oil was picked up quickly by fans of the DIY group and they really became a focal point of the local, music scene. They went on to perform a handful of songs from their 400-track project, which was really well received. The music they make is so playful and off the wall, the live performances only enhance the entire experience. These artists are able to truly lose themselves in their music and their performances, creating a giddy and almost comfortable atmosphere for the audience and this further translates into their music, digitally.
They more recently performed at a house show featuring another great, local band in Zunis and set the house on fire — so to speak. They were there performing unreleased music, at the time, from their upcoming album Baby Wants Crotch The Album; The Movie. Performing in a small, tight room, they had one of the most engaging shows I’d ever seen. Dozens on dozens of people were packed into this room upstairs watching these guys jump around and sing about crotches, while we’re all sweating off our own. At one point, (Lars) Gardner hugged everyone up front which was truly a magical moment. If you are a reading this, living in Tulsa, and aren’t going to Campbell & Gardner shows, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? This group is timeless and the music they are making encompasses everything it means to be young, carefree, and unique. You can find tracks from their newest album Baby Wants Crotch The Album; The Movie here.