It’s no big secret that I am a huge fan of Orchid Mantis, the experimental project of Thomas Howard from Atlanta, Georgia, who makes music like collages of sounds, vague memories or fleeting fragments … an aural impressionism. His song “Sunlight” has been on heavy rotation since I found it in 2017. Thomas describes his own sound as “found sounds, tape collages, and pop songs about forgetting”. The project saw the light in 2014 and dwells on the threshold of ambient and pop, employing unusual/lo-fi recording methods & weird, obscured samples.
On this, his latest single, from the forthcoming EP “Light as Leaving” (out on Sep. 17th on Z Tapes), he is accompanied by singer Josh Augustin from the band Vansire. “Where You Are“, like all Orchid Mantis songs, is a blend of bliss and bittersweet, longing and detachment in faded kodakchrome. I do miss Thomas‘ voice though which, I feel, adds more emotion to the whole experience. Thomas on “Light as Leaving”: “this phase of living is a constant process of moving and leaving. moving in and out of homes, working different jobs. many of the people i’m closest with are gone much of the year. everything can feel weightless and transitory when that kind of permanence is absent. but then, i feel like that’s something you look back on with intense nostalgia later in life, everything is weird that way.“