Peach Colored Oranges

Eric & Magill

Silver Side Productions, 2017

http://ericandmagill.com

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/06/2017

On this fourth full-length release, duo Eric & Magill (which consists of Ryan Weber and Eric Osterman, who collaborate from separate geographical locations) fuses folk music with orchestral arrangements. In this short 26-minute album, the songs (10 in all) are simple. The brass and string arrangements are prominent, but are used sparingly amid the gentle acoustic compositions. The result could be called as baroque pop “lite.”

The music on the opening title track, for example, consists primarily of a softly played acoustic guitar; violin strings provide a kind of percussive role, kissing the guitar notes momentarily at key rhythmic intervals. The genteel vocals, combined with the whisperingly soft music on this number, evoke a kind of airy wistfulness, which is the general mood of nbtc__dv_250 Peach Colored Oranges. However, there is also much more musical depth to the album, and other compositions here are more florid and thereby more interesting.

“Tightrope,” for instance, is musically more ornate, featuring a blaring and almost celebratory horn arrangement during the chorus. This cut was inspired by the contrasting lifestyles between Weber’s trip to Kenya while in the Peace Corp, where he had to rely on rainwater to drink, and his life in a Washington, D.C. apartment with all the modern comforts at his behest. In keeping with the album’s light-spirited feel, “Tightrope” sounds rather buoyant in comparison with its more grounded and contemplative undertone. “In Our Bubbles” also has a rather triumphant brass section during the chorus, giving an upbeat lift to the overall sheepishness of the song.

At its heart, Peach Colored Oranges is just straightforward acoustic folk music. But the album’s best cuts happen when Weber and Osterman dress up these ideas in complex musical arrangements. “Making A Map” has a cool chillwave “Washed Out” thing going on, with its smooth dancy handclapping/drumming combination and ethereal singing and guitar effects. “I Can Dig It” also has drumming that sounds like dance beats, and the combination of the drums with the acoustic guitars along with the clamorousness of the brass instruments during the chorus sounds odd and wonderful. “A Softer Sound” takes the folk elements and turns them into a haunting ethereal acoustic tune, sounding sort of like a modern take on a Simon & Garfunkel song, which is always welcome.

The songs on this release would sound great on commercials. Firstly, the music is catchy and uncomplicated; any random snippet from a song is enough to make you automatically bop your head to it instantly. Secondly, the album’s pensiveness is fluffy and easily relatable. Even though it doesn’t demand much from the listener, Peach Colored Oranges certainly gives a lot back.

Rating: B

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