Orson & the Rosebuds’ new album When Up is Down is the organic, musical progression of the changing of the seasons. The world has wilted for the winter, nature has perished and is reborn in the light of Spring; now these indie creative’s take us on their technicolor journey from existential dread to finding hope in love.
When Up is Down is an intimately apt album title and the sensitive title track shows us the compassion we need as humans fighting an everyday battle of optimism. Christian DeKnatel and Tessa Berliner sing us heart-warming harmonies instilling a contrast that feels warm and homely. The track softly breezes acoustic-folk and reggaeton vibes through the album, familiarly found again in the soul of ‘Words We Don’t Need‘.
The Boston indie-rock band are here to get us out of a rut and get us jumping. Their musical exploration is rooted in the music of Gorillaz and Vampire Weekend with punchy beats featured in tracks like ‘Books Without Authors (Babble On)’ and ‘YaMeanIt’. The refreshing sound cuts through the morning fog and whisks us to a state of euphoric optimism riding on the winds of electric guitar and bass drum. Featuring Joe Sung-Rae, ‘YaMeanIt‘ boasts a rap so rhythmic that it propels the listener into a cloud-like, elevated mood.
Christian on guitar fires up a jolting power pop guitar solo in ‘Little Late for Early’, blasting that same feel-good sentiment that grows throughout the album. ‘Kidding Around’ feels like a fresh flower in a brand new bloom, playful in its budding stages with the band expertly introducing the track with an encapsulating rhythm on synth. The drums come bursting in with a new life in full-swing as Nick Smith plays an up-lifting tune; the synth and drum entwine and grow together in the loving sunlight of the album.
When Up is Down is a pastiche to old-school indie music as well as a celebration of Orson & the Rosebuds’ new genre-rich playing style. ‘Elenora May’ is a soulful reminder of the music of The Velvet Underground in its chirpy yet candid tone. The song features a super-funky bassline from Olivia Orth who has expertly plucked groovy tones throughout the album, inviting the feeling of re-birth and growth to the album’s themes of hope and love.
This friendship-fuelled indie-rock album projects the band’s unwavering optimism onto a world waiting with open arms; ready to get better, ready to love. Orson & the Rosebuds bring us infectious optimism that we all need When Up is Down.
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