Orchid Mantis needs no introduction on this blog as he has been featured several times. This ghostly dreampop project by Atlanta-based multitalent Thomas Howard is actually the best example of the kind of music I wanna make, or ideally hear. Music he describes as “found sounds, tape collages, and pop songs about forgetting“. I have to admit that the last releases didn’t move me as much as, for example, the material on Kula Sunset, but with this unexpected release as a first song from the forthcoming still unnamed new album, I feel like the old Orchid Mantis is back! It actually comes, dare I say it, quite close to “Sunlight“, which is a classic in my books.
Reading the lyrics of “Within And Apart“, it’s clear that it has been written with pandemic settings as a backdrop and has disconnection as theme, (where’d the days go/when did the nights get so long /on my own /time moves slow) but also harbours some secret hope that everything will be as before again. As a track “Within And Apart” has it all : upbeat pace, layer and layers of jangly haziness, warm, gliding postpunk bass-tones and those vocals that alway sound adamant and fragile at the same time. “Within And Apart” sounds like a wish for escape from our too confined spaces. It’s the trip that isn’t happening in the real world right now. It’s what we need.