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Jack Bellomy (standing right): “The whole theme of the record is about having a good life.” Pete Rearden/Black Market Garden

Black Market Garden’s debut album is here, and it’s certainly different.

Whereas the indie-rock band’s COVID-era single and 2021 EP were both poppy, The Good Egg features a lot more diverse sonic textures and inventive songwriting structures. Some of the 12 tracks were written and recorded spontaneously and feature a few jam band-esque moments.

“We feel that we have created something that has all the potential to be deeply meaningful for people who are ready to hear it,” said frontman Jack Bellomy.

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Black Market Garden recorded the album in a few days in 2022 at The Cove in Arlington with Peter Wierenga (Denver Williams, Tornup, Deep Sleepers). With Adrien Lewis on bass, Dylan Mosley on lead guitar, Alexis Randolph on drums, and former member Oliver Martinez on guitar and keys (he’s since moved to Vermont and has been replaced by Bellomy’s brother, Max Bellomy), The Good Egg was mastered by Chicago’s Matthew Barnhart (The New Pornographers, CHVRCHES, The Mountain Goats).

“The album’s title, The Good Egg, isn’t an inside joke or anything,” Bellomy said. “People always worry about the bad apple spoiling the bunch as an outlier when they could be the opposite of that. Instead of worrying, the whole theme of the record is about having a good life.”

The album is a psychedelic cornucopia of victory and loss, sacrifice and reward. Bellomy said he and Martinez wrote the first track and single “Rosemary” for Bellomy’s friend and former roommate Chance Conover, who died from an accidental fentanyl overdose in September 2023. The title comes from the bush that Bellomy and Conover planted in their house’s front yard one spring day. The song, Bellomy said, was “intended to celebrate our friendship and has taken new meaning now that he is not with us. I know he is rooting for us like crazy from the afterlife.”

Like “Rosemary,” a lot of tracks on The Good Egg are heavy thematically, and some of them could be “in fifth grade” by now, Bellomy joked. The record isn’t sad, he continued, just intense.

“There is a lot of sentiment in the album, but at the same time, it doesn’t insist upon itself,” he said. “There definitely are some tracks where you’ll be able to pull away from the heavy stuff. Most importantly, the album engages conversation and is meant to be engaged in dialogue and not go through the motions with people. We like to encourage people to think twice because you don’t know how much of a difference it can make, and shake your butt while you’re doing it.”

Bellomy’s rich baritone nicely complements the poetic subject matter, like in “Petrichor,” when he calls the listener’s attention to the smell of grass after rain. Since smell triggers our memories, Bellomy said the song is also about remembering where you came from.

And like any good band of poets, absurdity also makes an appearance. “Land Shark,” whose only lyric is “sacrifice,” and the instrumental “Frog” are decidedly cinematic. And weird.

Though Black Market Garden has a few local gigs coming up, they’re excited to get out on the road, too.

“We want to play out of town more because we haven’t been doing a very good job of it at all,” Bellomy said, “and we finally have something to show for all the hard work we’ve done in Fort Worth.”

Black Market Garden LP Release Show
8pm Sat w/Denver Williams & The Gas Money, One-Eyed Monsters at The Cicada, 1002 S Main St, FW. $10.
Album art by Jordan Jeffreys

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