Contemporary music nowadays has a tendency to be very nostalgic to music of the 70s, where psychedelic music and imagery dominated the scene. It wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to say that the New Zealanders Mild Orange are one of those bands. Mild Orange are a new band, as this is their debut album, entitled Foreplay. Upon the first 30 seconds of listening, it is clear that the music fits the album title.
The album opens with the track titled “Intro”, and immediately fills your ears with juicy, bubbly clean tone guitar chords. A very fine gentleman’s voice greets you and introduces the band – this made me laugh, as it’s always endearing to listen to ironically cheesy moments by great bands. The instrumentals are pretty minimal and sparse, but still very structured in song form, giving a gelatinous and dreamy vibe. It instantly elevates your mood with happy melodies.
The song “Stranger” is especially soothing to the ears. It is the kind of song you might hear in a slow dance at prom. The guitars open in a swaying 6/8, and the vocal melodies are often parallel to the guitar. This gives a strong emphasis in a one voice lead approach, and although it is rather simple, it is so soothing to listen to. Although the songwriting may be a bit similar throughout the album in general, by this point in the album it is cool to see the different ways that they use the style of songwriting they are great at. These choices uniquely shape each song in a way where the listener can appreciate each one for a different reason.
The song “Mysight” is a real trip. Their psychedelic elements really are showcased here, as the vocals float like mist above the bubbly guitars, and miscellaneous sounds echo, almost as if you were listening to the song inside a cave. The song then takes a direction into a louder section; however, it is not abrasive. Cymbals crash like waves, the vocals soar over it, and the guitars set the groundwork with comping melodies. It is still very mellow and care-free, always flowing and grooving.
A Mood Elevator
This release is a very strong start for Mild Orange. Foreplay displayed successfully how to make your listener happy and chilled, while also displaying excellent songwriting and structure. The guitar tone on this album is also very commendable: clean and full, with jazzy and buttery chord usage. Listening to this album was what I needed in my life. By this time of the year I have undergone a large amount of stress, and I needed something to soothe me. And this was it. Listening to Foreplay has never failed to make me happier, to give me a more positive outlook in many situations. I love music that has the ability to relieve stress and bring happiness. It is purely why most people would listen to music in general, isn’t it? This is a very nice and charming release from Mild Orange, and I have the best wishes for them in the future.
Notable Tracks: “Intro”; “Mysight”; “Some Feeling”; “Stranger”
FFO: Boy Pablo, King Krule, Chon