The Orange Grove

Stare Into the Sun

Written by: BV on 17/08/2015 20:01:55

Copenhagen-based The Orange Grove is a relatively new entity to me. The six-piece band offers up their take on Americana-inspired surfer vibes from the west coast of the US with somewhat endearing results – conjuring up imagery of a wide range of country/folk greats throughout the rather long runtime of their debut album “Stare Into the Sun”.

Opening with “Ladybird pt. 1” the band sets their sights on getting off to a great start. “Ladybird pt. 1” is irresistibly groovy and chugs away with a supremely catchy country-inspired riff topped off with somewhat corny, yet entirely fitting lap steel sounds that supplement the otherwise rather traditional soundscape quite a bit. Occasionally I seem to get a kind of Grateful Dead vibe from the song if you think along the lines of “Working Man’s Dead” or “American Beauty”, although without the same stunning songwriting, instead opting for a very decent take on the style.

With “California Night” The Orange Grove seemingly try their hand at writing that one grand song that could be their hit and defining characteristic. Unfortunately their movements get a bit too grandiose for their own good, often crossing the line between tastefully grand and somewhat self-indulgent – resulting in a somewhat bland song that is quite enjoyable, but doesn’t quite come off as the massive track it could have been. I’ve seen elsewhere that others seem to have the issue as me, when it comes to “Stare Into the Sun”. It all seems too nice with very little roughness in the mix. It wouldn’t kill The Orange Grove to add a little danger or gruff to their otherwise polished and highly authentic replication of the American west coast. As a matter of fact, it would make their songs more approachable and, dare I say it, quite a bit more enjoyable.

Because as it is now, the majority of “Stare Into the Sun” seems like filler material. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing ideas here and there and the musicianship is downright competent – the end result is just not living up to the full potential the band otherwise displays as of this moment. “Seattle Leaves”, “Blue Soul” and “Ladybird pt. 1” are all signifiers of the potential displayed by the band, whilst tracks like “Milk and Honey” and, in part, “California Night” are so smooth and steady that they actually end up becoming bland, rather than delivering the punch that I am willing to bet they could.

In essence, The Orange Grove have crafted an above average musical experience with “Stare Into the Sun” and they do display quite a bit of potential – I’d just really love for them to be a bit more rough around the edges and a bit less predictable.

Download: Ladybird pt. 1, Seattle Leaves, Blue Soul
For the fans of: The Grateful Dead, The Woody Crushburn, White Ocean
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.04.2015

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