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Of the excellent releases that have come through Melbourne's Cool Death records - a roster that includes locals Power, Tyrannamen, and Tommy T and the Classical Mishaps – perhaps none have been as eagerly anticipated as the forthcoming debut LP from Sydney band Orion.
Since forming in late 2013, the quartet of Yuta Matsumura, Kerem Daldal (aka Dizzy), Chris Colla and Sarah Davis have developed a reputation for producing emotive pop that can be dark and despondent but also quite sanguine. “Turbulence”, a track from their demo, begins with a bounce in the keyboard and bass as Yuta sings, “Well I’ve heard that you are in town, Why don’t you tell me your intentions”, before Colla’s impressive guitar playing takes everything to another level.
Though members have been involved in punk and hardcore bands including Oily Boys, Low Life and Whores, Orion sees them taking a more confident approach in writing true pop music. The urgency of punk remains but it now runs through a drum machine and fluid bass lines which give the songs are more melodic weight.
Following on from the demo cassette that was released on Paradise Daily, the band will soon release their debut LP on Cool Death. The band will also be performing at this years VIVID alongside Lucy Cliché, Miles Brown and Buzz Kull as part of the Velvet Cave Rave.
Read a chat we had with Yuta.
NOISEY: You recorded the LP with Laurence Williams [M.O.B.] who also assisted you on the demo. How do the two compare?
Yuta Matsumura: Initially for the demo I recorded everyone's instrumentation on a 4-track and then passed that onto Laurence to mix and we recorded vocals and synth at his house. It was a fast process, unmastered and rushed. For the LP we recorded at a nice studio for the drum machine, bass, guitars and synth and similarly recorded overdubs and vocals at his house. However this was a more thoughtful and creative process where we experimented much more with overdubs and sounds. Although there was more to consider it has definitely been a more enjoyable experience.
The cassette was a good release to find your sound. Do you push it a bit more on the new album?
Nothing was definite so we experimented quite a bit and developed the songs more for instance Chris came up with guitar parts during recording overdubs. I guess you can say we still haven't found our sound, which keeps it more exciting.
The cassette tracks are on the album. Do they sound much different?
All tracks from the demo are on the album and they sound much different. Laurence has really done a number on them and they are sounding amazing! We've also added a lot to them along with having the new drum machine recorded for “Turbulence” and “Red Lights”. The old drum machine is still used in some of the other songs on the album that changes it up a bit.
You’ve said that Orion is just a different dynamic to other bands that you’ve been in. In what way?
Orion is a different vibe because I feel it is more emotionally engaging. There are several different emotions in play and everyone in Orion vibe from that. Also I guess when I’m writing lyrics these emotions come out directly. Oily Boys is also engaging but it lead more towards anger and frustration and can be ambiguous and playful at times. M.O.B. has aspects of both but we tend to let the trance influence our development of sounds and songs. I have different inputs for different bands so naturally there is a distinction of vibe between them all but the one similarity is that everyone I play with in these bands are some of my closest friends who I love and trust deeply.
Are you writing more songs at the moment? What is next as far as recordings?
We've written some new songs, and we are working on a few. Sarah has some up her sleeve and we've had ideas stemming from jams. The fluidity of writing and experimenting is still strong and Dizzy has started to play around with his sampler that makes things interesting and exciting. I wrote a song that we play live now called "Vacant Stare" which has a LA punk feel to it. I would dare say that the next album will be more diverse and strange!
Orion’s debut LP will be out soon on Cool Death.
May 28 – Sydney at Velvet Cave Rave with Lucy Cliché, Miles Brown and Buzz Kull
June 4 – Melbourne at Shadow Electric with Power, Ausmuteants, Whipper, Terry and Tommy T & The Classical Mishaps