RIGHT NEXT TO THE GRAVENHURST OPRY
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.
Orillia Opry isn't a person. It's two: Montreal's Daniel Noble and Emma Baxter. And Orillia Opry are releasing their second album, Lighthouse for the Stragglers' Eyes. And it's marvelous.
It's a record that seems modeled on one thing: on the harmony of Daniel and Emma's voices, on the smoke signals and sparks that their duets evoke. Sometimes their singing require a soft song, sometimes a loud one, often a little of each. And yet the result is not a glut of midtempo grey; it's a limber, supple thing, an album with moss on the north side and a hand on the east. Folk, and folk rock, that you could wear swinging on your neck as you bike down rue Bernard, screeching to a stop at the sight of your love's rosy face.
"I Lied" is the prettiest, and bitterest, break-up song that you'll hear this year. They sing their sadness with the plainest of adornment, with the evenest of tones. Such a fearsome, gentle chorus: "If you come back / come back with a heart attack". A heart attack! Like it's the easiest thing to sing, like there's nothing tightening in their chest as they stare you down. Like they're not going to go home and do the dishes, and put on a kettle, and forget to make the tea, and like they're not going to sit staring out the blank glass of the window reminiscing, and angry, and like they're not going to go in to the kitchen and see the cold kettle and boil some more water and like as the tap shushes at their fingertips they're not going to begin to cry like a dog, banging their fist against the sink in fury at themselves
"Shadow Shadow" is a rock song with a Neil Young poster on the wall, and it's a slow fade-in to the album, and it's more gold than silver. I want to own a small bell, a hand bell, and for that bell to rest on a shelf in my house. And inside the bell I'll hide "Shadow Shadow", and every time I ring it, the song will be there, ringing like a cathedral carillon, shaking all the burrs from my limbs, all the sand from my eyes, all the innocence from my blood, all the blood from my innocence. It's a song-title that ought to be written in all caps. "SHADOW SHADOW." An electric guitar solo that's already written in all caps. "RADADADA RARADADA DA OH DA DA OHOH fuck YES."
[ORILLIA OPRY have their album release on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30th, at SALA in MONTREAL. You should GO. It will even end early enough to take the metro home, if that's your thing. In two weeks you can order the album but in the meantime buy their previous LP, Pandion Haliaetus.
And if you want to hear the rock song that will storm the Canadian indie charts just as soon as it gets the chance, visit the Orillia Opry MySpace and listen to the one called "Riverside 2". Oh lordy, let's have a bonfire by the train-tracks. (You're all invited.)]
[Photo of kudzu in the American south, of unknown origin.]Posted by Sean at October 18, 2007 8:00 AM
This was lovely, Sean. Thank you.Posted by rahawa at October 18, 2007 10:34 AM
I loved "Pandion" ('Treachery' was one of my go-to songs last year), and I'm very excited for the new one now. Thanks, Sean.Posted by Kevin at October 19, 2007 2:00 AM
their first record is amazing, too.
OO 4eva.Posted by harmony trowbridge at October 19, 2007 8:02 PM
the original reason I became attached to this blog was because of Dan's post on Lucky Wind from Pandion Haliaetus. Now I just feel like it has all come full circle.
camille - thank you for attributing credit to me, but it was in fact Jordan who posted about Orillia Opry's "Lucky Wind". not that anyone's counting, I just couldn't let this go unmentioned, I look up to both Sean and Jordan's writing and I wouldn't want to steal credit for their achievements.Posted by dan at October 27, 2007 5:02 AM