Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick Hit: Ormonde

August 16, 2012

Ormonde‘s Machine is the soundtrack to a pensive, perhaps gloomy, evening stroll. The tempos in this singer-songwriter/indie album rarely top walking speed, and the individual instrumental parts don’t try to dazzle with virtuosity: the “guitar solo” in opener “Can’t Imagine” covers nine notes in 25 seconds. But the parts here are subsumed in the whole experience: the enveloping atmosphere of Machine is its main draw. This is tightly defined, meticulously crafted music.

The fact that two songwriters got together in Marfa, Texas (read: way out in the desert) to write this is interesting, because tunes like “Cherry Blossom” and “Lemon Incest” have a distinctly forested, European feel to me. I know I’m starting to get into quite abstract terms, but that’s what comes to mind when I hear Ormonde’s music.

A couple concrete things: When Anna-Lynne Williams and Robert Gomez sing together, the songs soar; Gomez’s gruff grumble plays beautifully against Williams’ trilling high notes. The back half isn’t nearly as memorable as the front half, which includes the evocative title track, the piano-heavy “Secret” and all other songs I’ve mentioned so far.

If you’re into Tom Waits, Damien Rice, or other highly idiosyncratic crooners, you should check this out.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

Recent Posts


Independent Clauses Monthly E-mail

Get updates and information about IC, plus opportunities for bands.
Band name? PR company? Business?
* = required field