Fan of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea? Check out Licorice Root Orchestra.
April 15, 2013 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Their debut album is a weird, hypnotic masterpiece. Licorice Root Orchestra was an obscure band out of Newark, DE. They echo shades of Neutral Milk Hotel, John Lennon, Brian Wilson, Spacemen 3 and Marc Bolan.

Melody Maker said “This, their divine debut, works as an ensemble piece. These 13 dream-dipped delights provide the perfect soundtrack to some sepia-tinted silent movie and manage to pull off the near-impossible: they are appealingly gauche but never gormless, naive but never nerdy. Most are under three minutes, their wealth of tiny details strung on a delicate, twittering frame. ‘September in the Night’ and ‘Cloud Symphonies’ are pop songs like you've never heard them, impressionistic, hazy things that throb with wobbly, sub-aquatic strings and a piano that sounds like it's floating up from the cellar. You can thank Shimmy's chief kook, Kramer, for that, of course. There's a general air of uneasiness beneath the charm, though, of Something Nasty never far away. " They were, inexplicably, featured in the “Cute Band Alert” column of Sassy magazine. I scored my CD for less than a buck a few months ago, though it’s north of $9 on Amazon now. But you can hear them free on Spotify. Here’s the trippy “September in the Night,” and “Cloud Symphonies.”
posted by old_growler (10 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
It is probably becase I live in Portland, but orchestral blank, chamber blank, or any gauzy twee variation thereof a while back reached critical mass.. it has reached an oversatuation level so much that it is all starting to soundlike the grim inevitability of manufactured quirk made real.

Sorry to be all "Your favorite band sucks", just an observation I have made about pop music for a while now. That and how close many of these acts are closer to Adult Contemporary than most want to admit. Probably because it would prove my prediction slash SummerOfPhil period I went through where I was listening nothng but Collins, Chicago, etc.. and telling everyone "Mark my words, AdultContemporary is comin back."

So now when I catch a friend listening to Rhye, for example, I tell tem "AC, baby! It's McRib!"
posted by mediocre at 1:59 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

To be fair, according to the article this band’s debut album came out in 1993. This is not an album by some kids who were born in 1993.
posted by D.C. at 2:40 PM on April 15, 2013

@item, thanks for the correction. Not as snotty as the person who was lamenting "chamber blank," and I should have read my sources more carefully. That said, I really do like those guys.
posted by old_growler at 3:02 PM on April 15, 2013

Making snide remarks about other peoples exlamations over any band is part of the reason Al Gore invented the internet. You would to, if J. Geils was your roommate.

EDIT: Al Gore's college roommate was not J. Geils, but rather Tommy Lee Jones. Leaving my mistake intact, however. Part of my personal policy.
posted by mediocre at 3:18 PM on April 15, 2013

Metafilter: Adult Contemporary is comin' back!
posted by alex_skazat at 3:31 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Weird, I was an indie-psych-rock oriented teenager in Delaware in the 90's, and I don't remember the band name - I hung out in Newark quite a bit but more mid-late 90's, so I must have just missed them. Psyched to check it out. Thanks!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:45 PM on April 15, 2013

Really enjoyed this--would go well on a chill mix-CD with some Luna, I think.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:56 PM on April 15, 2013

mediocre: "Sorry to be all "Your favorite band sucks", just an observation I have made about pop music for a while now."

Being a fellow-Portlander, unless you've lost your open mind, I claim there's plenty of local (and non-local) pop that is well worth listening to, including Wild Ones, Typhoon, and (formerly Portlanders) Yacht. In the non-local category, both Alt-J and Of Monsters and Men. Of course, a true contrarian would say something like "heard 'em all, hate 'em," or somesuch. In which case, I'd say "ok, I give up."

Back to the topic of the thread, Licorice Roots does sound like nice music that I'd never heard of, so thanks! Given the brief listen I've managed so far, I don't see the Neutral Milk Hotel reference, but still - I like what I've heard.
posted by dylanjames at 8:34 PM on April 15, 2013


Note, please do not use the edit function to add substantial content to a comment after the fact. Just make another comment. Thank you.
posted by cortex at 7:21 AM on April 16, 2013

Lovely music I'd never heard of! Thanks!
posted by baniak at 1:24 PM on April 16, 2013

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