Somojo Magazine


Orienteers new album

Orienteers - a self-proclaimed "space-folk" band - hail from Ottawa, Canada. Not your lypical party town, nor the place you'd expect sounds like this to come from. Maybe the Netherlands, with all those peacefui purveyors of gentle, melodic folk. Or maybe the deep south, if it were on some sort of acid: pedal steel guitars looping; deceptively lazy, almost psychedelic songs of travel, love and escape, slowly melting your speakers. That's precisely what Orienteers do better than anyone, creating mellow, sparse, fragile and simple songs that somehow channel the gentler sides of Yo La Tengo, Sparklehorse and Japancakes with the choirboy-style harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel or even the Byrds.

Orientcers' uniqueness might stem from the fact they've been around awhile. Formerly named That’s the Spirit (renamed to better reflect their tendency to write about travel), and led by singer/songwriter Ben Wilson, the band released their debut LP Staying Places inthe fall of 2008, to much acclaim. The UK's Line of Best Fit called it "spotless...a near-perfect release", NPR's All Songs Considered called it "gorgeous" and the Ottawa Sun labelled it “breathtaking." They showcased everywhere from Sled Island to NXNE, CMW and the Ottawa Bluesfest, opening for the Flaming Lips and Metric.

This year, armed with enough material for 3 new records, they release their first full length under their new name. Brush-stick walking songs, hazy instrumental pieces and otherworldly counterpoints come together on this new record that tells us the band might have anyone from Kurt Vile to Pink Floyd to Animal Collective on the stereo. And all signs show it's to be the first of many, many new DIY-style, boundarypushing epics from a band that's found its way.

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