Mandolin Orange

Mandolin Orange

Sep 30, 2014 |  0 comments
Date: Sep 30, 2014 Time: 8:00 pm Price: $12 in advance, $15 at the door Type: Americana, Folk,

Over the last few years, Mandolin Orange has shared bills with Rosanne Cash, Chatham County Line, the Steep Canyon Rangers and Abigail Washburn, and traveled as far as the UK to perform at festivals, including Ulster’s 21st Annual Bluegrass Festival, Shakori Hills Grassroots, and Hopscotch Music Festival.  “Mandolin Orange carries an understanding of tradition and shape it into a thing of beauty. They craft simple songs that go beyond chord progressions and vocal harmonies, leading somehow toward something pure. Using acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and a hand-me-down fiddle, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz allure with a heart-worn sensibility. Last year’s Haste Make/ Hard Hearted Stanger combines bluegrass, rock and country for lullabies that swoon.” Ashleigh Phillips, Independent Weekly

Long one of the Triangle’s more popular young bands, Mandolin Orange is now taking a big step toward the national spotlight. In an announcement earlier this week via CMT Edge—the country TV station’s online sounding board for alternative Americana—the Carrboro folk duo revealed that This Side of Jordan, the group’s third album, will be released by Yep Roc Records, the N.C. label that claims such stalwarts as Nick Lowe and Robyn Hitchcock. The album drops on Aug. 6.

Arriving on the scene with the 2010 debut, Quiet Little Room, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz began as an intimate, stripped-back folk pair with hypnotic melodies and earnest wordplay. But Quiet Little Room‘s confines soon became too limiting. 2011’s double-wide follow-up, Haste Make/Half Hearted Stranger, split the difference, setting aside one disc for the duo’s standard acoustic prettiness, while using the other as an opportunity to expand into meditative folk-rock graced by patient bass lines, shimmers of electric guitar and unobtrusive drumming.

“House of Stone” finds Mandolin Orange becoming more comfortable with this full-band approach. The song starts with wisps of fiddle and calm picking, recalling the group’s bare-bones beginnings. Skittering drums enter soon thereafter, joined by subdued bass and rich electric fills. The sound grows more robust as the tune progresses. Marlin and Frantz’s harmonies find devils and dreams grappling for metaphorical space as her fiddle melts into tender guitar melodies. It’s the most beautiful sound the band has yet to create.

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