Orenda Fink + Scalpelist = O+S



Latest way-cool offering from Saddle Creek.


By Blurt Staff




A seemingly unlikely collaboration
but one that has borne compelling and captivating results, O+S has completed its self-titled
debut, to be released March 24
on Saddle Creek Records. Buoyed
by Orenda Fink’s (Azure Ray, Art
In Manila) lilting vocals and propelled by the sonic collages of Scalpelist (aka Cedric LeMoyne of Remy
Zero), the album is a hauntingly beautiful collection of light/dark,
electronic-tinged pop, drawing inspiration equally from the films of David
Lynch as well as classic 4AD Records.


This intriguing musical alliance
sprouted from an experiment directly linked to Fink’s residency at the esteemed
Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts in Omaha.
The aural nature of this art project steered Fink on a series of
sound-collecting excursions that extended beyond her home in Omaha
to Alabama, and ultimately Haiti. “My
idea was to go and collect field recordings from all over. Places that inspired
me in a kind of atmospheric way,” Fink reveals.


With a recorder filled with sounds and a head full of ideas, Fink called her
near two-decade-long friend and fellow Alabama
native LeMoyne to assist with her endeavor. In no time at all, LeMoyne found
himself taking residence at the Center, diligently constructing the random
noises into structures, and eventually, pop songs.

“We’d take samples of sounds of Haitian rituals, street noises or
whatever, then cut them into loops,” LeMoyne explains. “We’d arrange
them into forms and write songs with them, or Orenda might have started a song
and I would take some of these sound materials to create bodies of music around
it.” As the experiment began to take shape, both recognized the potential
beyond the Bemis residency and decided to graduate from art project to a true
musical entity.


The resulting album is a stirring, melodious reverie that thrusts forward with
a constant thump of drum loops and jutting bass lines, shifting from acoustic
guitar and angelic coos to plodding piano. Fink’s celestial vocals float along
like a cloud, ever so gently peeking in and out on cue, while tinkling bells
and a mélange of unidentifiable voices lurk in the sidelines.


With nearly 90% of the album completed in separate states, O+S is about to be
reunited, as they prepare to take their sonic pastiche on the road. Tour dates
to be announced soon.



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