The Occasional Orchestra – ‘Urban Foxes’

London-based band The Occasional Orchestra strut a memorable, melodic sound throughout their album Urban Foxes. From the heartfelt psych-folk hypnotics within the title track to the opener’s jangle-pop radiance, Urban Foxes shows an abundance of gripping moments.

Jangly guitars kick off the opening “Cowboys” with compelling immediacy. “Seasons turning, while you’re yearning,” multiple caressing vocal layers let out past the mid-point, complemented by frolicking piano additions alongside the sturdy guitar presence, reminding fondly of The Go-Betweens. “Too Much Wandering” follows it up with a brisker, chipper lightness. “Always carrying each other, mystery to be discovered,” the vocals venture into an earworm of a hook — “I could always bring you ’round,” — with shades of Teenage Fanclub’s power-pop in the title-touting hook.

Another highlight, “Loneliest Day of the Year” infuses a more traditional, country-infused charm as twangy guitars and a vocal duet adorn a trainyard-feeling setting in admitting they “held it all in,” upon their beloved leaving. A melancholic lyrical tilt stirs amidst a rollicking, shimmering fusing of folk, rock, and country.

Moving to the album’s title track finale, gentle guitar trickles complement introspective vocals. Its 4AM setting of aspiring for a “new day,” resonates alongside the dreamy guitar work and palpable vocal momentum. The hypnotic “working day deliverance,” hook is among the album’s best, which is notable considering the consistent high-quality songwriting emphasized throughout Urban Foxes.

“Too Much Wandering” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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