Fire on Fire – The Orchard

February 9, 2009

Fire on Fire, from South Portland, Maine, have a new full-length album out, titled “The Orchard.” Or, rather, they have had a new full-length out since the middle of last December, and the only thing I regret is that I waited two months to pick it up and have a listen. If you enjoyed their appropriately-titled “5 Song EP” from late 2007, as I did, you’re sure to like this one too, for both records feature the same intricate, all-acoustic instrumentation and beautiful vocal arrangements. “The Orchard” still sounds new and original – and in fact I think I actually prefer it to the earlier EP – in large part because, by quieting just a bit of the delightful clamor of songs like “Hangman” and “Amnesia” from 2007, the new album can sustain its flowing energy over 12-tracks lasting, together, more than an hour. And the whole thing culminates with the absolutely stunning 8-and-a-half-minute closer, “Haystack,” in which Colleen Kinsella’s voice floats gracefully over hypnotically repeating melodies and beats. I’d recommend that you check out Lucas Caldwell Schleicher’s review of “The Orchard” on the Brainwashed website, which deepened still further my appreciation of this excellent cd. Meantime, I think I’ll cheat a little, and call it one of my favorites of 2009 so far.

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