Matt Leavitt (EMOT) and Brian Moen (Shouting Matches, Peter Wolf Crier, Laarks) embarked on their sophomore album Where All Ends Meet in separate spaces. Split by state borders, duo Orchid Eaton is their basement pop band that combines thrift store keyboards, Craigslist soundboards, secondhand tape machines, and a smorgasbord of analog equipment to create stories.
Where All Ends Meet is a rumination and acceptance of impermanence, of birth and death. The cycle of life and balance between each song is threaded through all 9 tracks and serves as a reminder of our dreaded pause the past year. Brian and Matt have welcomed babies while losing a mother and father-in-law. The album was crafted back and forth through machines, squeezed with electric current, and ultimately transformed into a hazy hug of healing, of comfort, and authentic confessionals.
Where All Ends Meet – Album Review
The album opens up to ticking and warm layer of swarming keyboards. The lead track serves as a mantra to resist the corrosive effects of overthinking things and striving for perfection. The title “Said Just Right” also correlates to our current social environment where we’re hyper-sensitized to issues, statements, and actions of others. Forced to have a perfect aptitude of posting, commenting, and following popular opinions, there’s a danger in public speaking.
The song shifts into the comfort of letting go and trusting that everything is going to work out just fine. We all need to take a step back and learn this lesson of non-attachment to the concept of perfection. Our kaleidoscope lives filled with flawed grey areas.
“Blue Light” grooves with organ undertones, bass lines, and acoustic accents. It takes a wider look at life and the feeling of having it all figured out. Finding comfort in where you’re at and accepting changes are always prevalent. “C-L” uses the classic board game ‘chutes and ladders’ to breezily sing ups and downs. The understanding is both are the same scenario, both take you places.
The snuffed drum beats on “Casino Drums” praises the ability to feel pain to know that you’re still able to feel. There’s a habitual action of wanting to put another nickel into the machine, to be engaged and involved. The instrumentation brilliantly transports you inside a casino, the buzzing and dinging environment swirling around. The machines slowing down at the end transitions smoothly into the start of “Center of Gravity.”
“My center of gravity is a wealth of non-belief
Another thing that can keep me up on this one-person dream
Despite reality I do care what people think
I shouldn’t blank that might leave a moment raw and un-thinked.”
The song builds into a lush sunshine state with harps and keyboards. Yet throughout there’s a string that keeps it grounded and going back into reality. The journey of the song showcases the song-building skills of Matt and Brian, pushing and pulling you through different feelings. Placed halfway through the album, it’s strategic center (pun intended) feels like the core foundation.
“Who’s So Heavy Now” cleverly clutches a catchy hook and textures it with a variety of soft tones. The dreamlike mood and floaty lyrics meld together. The eventual buzz and disconnecting at the end of the track tie you back to the contrast between wishing and reality.
“There’s a fundamental problem the way that I see
The difference between wishing and what’s going to be”
Orchid Eaton explore love in “Lonely Beach”. Feeling like a sad song exploring loneliness, Matt and Brian instead shift to the positive side of what we have control over. The song reminds us the importance of love and how intertwined it is in our lives. The last 2 minutes of the song is a smattering of blerps and machines, a dystopia of echos and fuzz.
The culmination comes with “Wrong – Wrong”. The over 7 minute opus hits on all the elements that Orchid Eaton does so well. The wispy trails of analog machines blending with the comforting voice of Matt trail through the song, slowly being overtaken by the dense curtain of sounds. It’s a grand finesse to an album yearning to be played multiple times. Each listen guarantees a deeper perspective and discovery of another little noise that contributes to the full picture of each song. Each piece another small crutch to heal from life and death.
Where All Ends Meet is released on April 23rd.
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