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Ormonde: Machine [Album Review]


Anna-Lynne Williams and Robert Gomez, the illustrious duo that is Ormonde, have been invading my private spectrum for quite a while now. Several years ago, and old high school chum (more of a friend of a friend type) took up drumming duties for a little band I had sort of heard of before known as Trespassers William. He was essentially dropped from the group before I even knew it. Shortly after, or maybe in between, I was watching one of my favorite films of all time, A Love Song For Bobby Long, and I happened to recognize a precious voice (Anna-Lynne of Trespassers William) that still haunts me with joy when I hear it while Scarlett Johansson does her reading at a bus depot. The story continues.

I then received two albums in the mail from two different (both superb) publicists and was instantly in love. One would be the last Trespassers William EP entitled Natural Order Of Things and the other would be Robert Gomez’s Pine Sticks & Phosphorus. Both albums blew me the hell away. I would love to lie and say that I always thought they would make a great duo. But, the truth would be that I never saw it coming. Although I still believe that Anna-Lynne’s vocals should be on every record that will ever be made until the end of her time, that is beside the point.

Eventually Anna-Lynne would become an even greater staple in my own personal ventures, and a wonderful person to turn to for help in anyway. Such a great person. And while her latest solo album as Lotte Kestner has been in regular rotation since its release, so has Gomez’s wonderfully and deserving of praise album. And it has been out for quite sometime.

Both of these geniuses of the disenchanted world of music and livelihood can best be characterized as creating timeless music that is irresistible and downright breathtaking. They did this apart. Now we have them together! The awesomeness of this set up is so extreme I cannot figure out how my iTunes, electricity, and life have not imploded leaving me senseless and awestruck. I say this as a warning, folks. Ormonde is here, and you may not be able to handle the excellence as it is breathed into you one beautiful note at a time.

Ormonde’s debut album, Machine, is so unfathomably beautiful that simple words and praises will never do it justice. You just have to hear it. Fans of Anna-Lynne Williams are definitely not going to be let down. Fans of Robert Gomez are going to find some of his same wonderful composure, added with a wonderful batch of sugar and/or spice as Anna-Lynne sprinkles bits of sunshine and torture of Gomez’s fine crafted guitar work. Gomez himself seems to be at his strongest with the support of a good friend, as well. Which is encouraging and entrancing in itself. And while most fans may have grown accustomed to Anna’s normal stripped down beautiful work, some may grow weary of hearing her without Robert guiding her like the blinding Shepard he is. It is suffice to say that we should be extremely ecstatic that these two geniuses in their own right have found each other.

So set your sights towards the sun, and let the wind of creative mastering take you through a journey you will not soon forget as you press play to hear Ormonde’s brilliant debut album, Machine. It really doesn’t matter what track you start with (although it appears as though I prefer “Sudden Bright” according to my track records, but who knows) you are going to end up listening to this album straight through. 

Every brilliant nuance and commonplace descriptive measure of this album is going to blow your mind. For two artists who seem to have built careers based on the idea that simplicity can be bliss, Anna-Lynne and Robert Gomez have created something so psychologically mind bending and innovative that it is going to absolutely mesmerize you to no end.

It is safe, in my eyes, to say that Ormonde’s debut album is one of the best albums to be released in the last decade, and definitely one of the finest of 2012. This is not an overstatement folks. Machine is just that damned good. But don’t trust my judgement, you must hear it yourself. So do that. Now!

Check out the video for “I Can’t Imagine” below.

Machine by Ormonde

Hometapes [CD, 2012]

1. Can’t Imagine
2. Cherry Blossom
3. Lemon Incest
4. Machine
5. Secret
6. Blank Slate
7. Sudden Bright
8. Hold The Water
9. Drink
10. I’ll Let You Know

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