Oryx & Crake
Deer Bear Wolf
Been a long time since an album blew me away like Marriage from Atlanta’s Oryx & Crake -or have I encountered a band as unclassifiable as they. Strains of “baroque folk” trade verses with Radiohead/Pink Floyd electronic landscapes, gorgeous harmonies infuse tracks such as “The World Will Take Care of Me”, atop a pulsing Moog, as if the Beach Boys sang backup on an Air song.
Oryx & Crake, which are husband and wife Ryan Peoples and Rebekah Goode-Peoples along with a cast of characters such Matt Jarrard (cello), Karyn Lu on violin, Bryan Fiedlen on drums and bassist Keith Huff. Marriage is their second album, (the bands self-titled debut was released in 2010). Named for the Margret Atwood dystopian sci-fi novel, I first heard of the band from a rather unique event they played in town, Porchfest, where, true to the name, bands perform on people’s porches. Afterward I looked them up, and was captivated by the video for “The Show“, and the rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. In some ways they remind you of Mercury Rev (“Too Many Things Went Wrong Too Often”) or a more organic XTC. The simple acoustic guitar of “Stolen Summer” meshes with a lovely string arrangement (and I’m a sucker for cellos in rock/pop music) while the beat-driven “Everybody’s Waiting” sounds like a hit waiting to happen.
In fact, Oryx & Crake should be huge, but you know how that goes. In the meantime, let Marriage be your own private pleasure. We won’t tell.