Eras is a powerful new album from MM Orchard, a collective led by Brooklyn-based songwriter and guitarist Mark McIntyre. The album was crafted during quarantine, with its name referring “the states of mind one can experience for long periods of time.” Featuring a variety of collaborative musicians, the album presents a stirring assortment of rock and folk sentiments.
Quaint guitars and twinkling keys lend a spacey feeling, as the lyrics play with narrative allure. Per the artist: “‘Jenny’ is an explorative track that tells the story of a grandfather & granddaughter surviving in a future wasteland.” “Jenny” also features percussionist Mauro Refosco (Atoms For Peace, David Byrne), whose eclectic rhythms combine with the suave vocals and melodic intrigue, with shades of Steely Dan. The string-laden sensation of the “take my hand,” sequence is especially captivating, capturing the sense of feeling “the sorrows.”
“Suz (For L + R)” shows a more charismatic escalation. Vocals and rhythms express sentiments to “do the best I can,” expanding with feverish intent as frolicking acoustics and a bouncy overall energy proves riveting. Washes of woodwinds and bluesy, warming guitars drive to further pulsing vibrancy, sliding into a gorgeous assortment of jazzy guitar work in the conclusion. Further lushness is conveyed on the album’s closing track; “***’s House” unveils a serene conclusion, with its “peaceful if you let it be,” refrain stirring amidst an acoustical/synth electro-folk vibe that reminds fondly of Damien Jurado.
“Jenny” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of February 2023’ Spotify playlist.