Missed out on this rundown yesterday, so you get two today.
Sometimes I surprise myself. On Saturday morning, flipping through new album releases, I chanced upon Looking For Space, the third album from Aoeteroa, New Zealand guitar band Mild Orange and almost instantly fell under its spell.
I liked it, even though it reminded me of things I don't particularly care for. Coldplay for one. Snow Patrol. The Edge's guitar sound. But despite all that I found it quite captivating from the off.
Mild Orange add something of their own that made the record appeal to me. How I'd describe this 'something' is a sense of their own homeland and what makes it so special. Of light and space and wonder in a quite beautiful, apparemtly infinite landscape.
Not every song quite worked in the same way for me. There's can be an essential emptiness to this kind of thing if it's not done properly, the sense that it's music made for vast stadiums, for people to hold their lighters aloft to. The kind of thing which make the attention wander for the likes of me who prefer music that seems to be aimed to be heard in small, underground clubs, where Jonathan Richman, Robert Forster and Tom Verlaine are the male patron saints rather than Chris Martin or Bono.
Nevertheless, when it hits it hits. Mild Orange seem to understand the essence of what makes this kind of thing work. Hailing from one of the most remote spots on Earth might be the key to why this appeals for me while so much of the music it reminds me of doesn't. The band have genuine heart and sincerity. Soul. I like Looking For Space very much and will return to it.
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