This week’s reviews: Bishop Allen, Orenda Fink

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Bishop Allen – Lights Out (2014, Dead Ocean)

Bishop Allen released an album called Lights Out. It is their first album in almost 5 years. I was almost surprised to see this album in Interesting Music Releases as I assumed this Brooklyn-based indie-pop band was no longer together.  Grrr… (2009) and The Broken String (2007) were quite well-liked. Their sound is a unique brand of whimsical and upbeat indie-pop and Lights Out is no exception.  The cover features some dancing young people. That is the perfect visual representation of the album’s songs.

The delightful single “Start Again” opens the album and talks about starting over verses moving on.  Justin Rice sounds aloof as he sings, “If you want to write it down/ If you want to start again/ If you want to turn around/ Go ahead.

“Why I Had to Go” captures the point in any experience where you just have to leave.  “Skeleton Key” adapts 90’s alternative rock with a fuzzed out melody. “Black Hole” and “Shadow” features Darbie Nowatka on lead vocals and are both quite captivating.  “Good Talk” deals with a developing relationship that can go one of two ways. In the end, it goes the heartbreaking way. Rice sings, “If you want tell me/ where it all went wrong/ I already know/…And it really doesn’t matter/ who’s the first or last to know/ it’s already done/…Let’s talk about the past.

While songs touch on disappointment and loss, the melodies paint a happy-go-lucky vibe. Bishop Allen knows how to cope (lyrically) by appearing happy (musically). It is a pure delight.

Recommended Tracks: “Skeleton Key,” “Start Again,” “Black Hole”


 

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Orenda Fink – Blue Dream (2014, Saddle Creek)

And for your mellow release of the week, comes Orenda Fink‘s Blue Dream. Orenda is formerly of dream-pop duo Azure Ray. Blue Dream lives up to the name with a dreamy melodies and quiet humming. Orenda’s vocals are ethereal. She knows how to create an airy and sublime aura. While it may be slightly boring to those who prefer rock ‘n roll, the release is definitely recommended for those who like to lay back and get lost in a thought.

Recommended Tracks: “You Are A Mystery” & “All Hearts Will Beat Again”

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