APRIL IN THE ORANGE – the glittering fish were stars LP, Aito

$12.00

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“April in the Orange’s debut LP treads the ol’ acoustic/electric psych-folk route but the band has its heart in the right place. Combining tried-and-true chemistry of crisp strummed and plucked acoustic guitars, soft lead female vocals à la Vashti Bunyan, and just the right amount of playful drugged-drones, The Glittering Fish Were Stars comes off like an easy write-off after a mere passing listen but quietly contains some of the best songwriting and production for any other attempt at the genre. The honest love is apparent give the self-released and self-assembled nature of the packaging, lending an added few degrees of warmth to the total package. Opening track “Green Grass” strums along with a slow burning acoustic riff and smoky vocals like a more present MV & EE. An abstract recorder screeches behind the tune before an extended guitar interlude breaks open like a cleaner Bardo Pond. The song takes on a raga-like quality veering deeply into a psych freak-out somewhere between Roy Montgomery’s hypnotic squall or Ash Ra Temple’s meditative passages. Emphasizing the pacifying quality of Samantha Linn’s vocal delivery, “Little White Bird” playfully skips along for an all too brief two minutes. Much like an ageless folk song, the song is as quaint as it is catchy in a nursery rhyme kind of way delivered with the warm, hushed style of Samara Lubelski. As the suite fades into “A Broken Circle,” it’s entirely apparent that April in the Orange’s breadth of ability shines through. Space-folk trademarked by David Pearce is on full display, with a choir of feedback wafting atop clean acoustic guitar and vibrating guitar lines. It’s an expansive noise genuinely executed. “Siva Casting Dice” opens the B-side with a full-on Janschian-paced guitar run. Andrew Barrett, AitO’s main man, plays his instrument with whiplash speed and breaks from soothing caresses to frantic chops and stabs. The group’s austere production style works best on “Colors in the Water” with barely-there casio tones and percussion adding only the most necessary flourishes to a near-perfect ditty. “Vale of Fire” is an absolute monster of droned psych-noise, with towering walls of feedback and distorted fury. It’s debuts like this that make it worth giving seemingly tired sounds a chance.” – Bobby Power, Foxy Digitalis