Tuesday, July 14, 2009

first review of "ghost party"

Thanks High Noon Saloon!

Canada's Scott Orr has been quietly making quiet music for a little while now, having self-released Miles From Today in 2007. The songwriting on Ghost Party though, is likely to elevate Orr to the next level and may even see him pick up a label, if not some decent distribution.

Ghost Party began life when Orr discovered newfound acoustics in his basement as it was being renovated. And where he previously recorded in meticulous silence, this time Orr allowed his environment to contribute to the overall sound. Which is why one can hear a cat at the end of 'Danger', for example.

Musically, Orr shares a similar space as Iron & Wine, Conor Oberst and Nick Drake, with hushed vocals and gentle melodies that waft on the breeze. Like Beam, Oberst & Drake, Orr also knows the power that pop can play within a song, and as such he works hard to find that hook, that special something that lures the listener. This pop sensibility is most evident on the opener 'In Between', and 'Danger' (which sounds a bit like a Ben Gibbard track), whilst tracks like 'Caught In My Dreams' and 'I'm Going to Listen to My Heart' both have strong country undertones - yet palatable for those who don't realise they like the genre.

Some tunes, like 'Ghosts' and 'To Be Loved' entice you like an early morning swim: It's hard to get started, but you enjoy them so much when you get there, you really don't want them to end.

Orr's first album was available as a free download, which may have been a good move as it helped get his name out there. Similarly Ghost Party is available to stream from his website for those that prefer the try before you buy method.

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