Starting off the year with a dreamy new album titled ‘Looking For Space’, Mild Orange further expand their familiar bedroom pop sound and invite listeners to get lost in the hazy dreamscapes they consistently create.
Recorded all over the country, including Bannockburn, Arrowtown, Carters Beach, Oākura, Auckland and New Plymouth, and over a 12-month period that started back in July 2020, ‘Looking For Space’ already lives up to its name. Production, recording and mixing credits are shared between guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Mehrtens and Roundhead Studio engineer Paddy Hill.
Perhaps it is this new dynamic that allowed the indie-pop band to transcend the four walls of bedroom pop and intermingle their recognisable dream-pop sound with elements of folk and rock. These new textures are most noticeable in tracks such as F.E.A.R., Oh Yeah, Aurora, and Music., each of which seamlessly combine the mellow and honeyed vocals of Mehrtens with heavier, twangier guitar instrumentals, together creating a perfect immersive, yet energising concoction.
The remainder of Mild Orange (all Otago University alumni) are guitarist Josh Reid, bassist Tom Kelk and drummer Jack Ferguson. Like their previous two albums, ‘Looking For Space’ wholly embodies a late-night-drive sense, roll-the-windows-down-and-breathe-in-the-cool-air music, a reflection perhaps of their roaming recording environments which included bedrooms, beach houses, and of course, the recording studio. Harmonious melodies and airy reverb vocals lull the listener into a kind of trance that prompts the mind into revisiting a pleasant memory – a common theme throughout the album which seemingly seeks to evoke a sense of nostalgia.
With 11 tracks and over 45 minutes it’s a long album. Track seven, Take A Moment, plays like a deep breath, the half-minute interlude between the extended and existential What’s Your Fire? and the more indie single Aurora. It offers a moment of peace that allows the listener to soak in the captivating artistry that is ‘Looking For Space’, before diving in for more.