Orange Glow – The Magic Tale of Flying Kite in the Animal Kingdom
The title of the album, combined with the images of retro toys that adorn the cover immediately put me in mind of the dream-pop of Flaming Lips et al. It is clear that this assessment isn’t far wrong upon hearing the first tracks which makes mention of robots within seconds.
There are echoes of Grandaddy and Sparklehorse throughout most of the eleven tracks and their fondness for the leftfield is singled by the name-checking of the legendary Robert Wyatt. The album is primarily the work of Eric Hoogeweg who describes himself and his band of musicians as ‘storytellers’ and describes his sound as ‘indiepop’.
These ‘stories’ variously involve hedgehogs and bats and the kind of thing that Marc Bolan wrote about before he discovered the electric guitar. However there are enough references to the more typical indie fare of alcohol and recrimination to prevent it turning into a festival of tweeness. For example, opener Dust & Gasoline as well as the robot reference early on contains the lines: ‘So here's another elegy/ to booze away the tragedy/ Gallons full of tears/ alcohol & fears’.
Guitars, violins and melotrons vie for space with piano and, despite the fairy-tale like nature of much of the work there is an energy to many of the tracks that keeps the album on the right side of the line between dreamy and dull. There is a good amount of brio and invention and a nice balance between the dreamy, spaced-out slow pieces and more up-tempo fare. The album does feel a little overlong with a few of the tracks outliving their welcome. For the most part it is, however, fun for the fan of off-kilter pop.