Since 2010, Henrik Astrup has been playing and jamming back and forth with his band Orange Monks; and he has actually managed to drop quite a lot of material within the first few years; an EP called ‘Black Lung’ in 2010, the album ‘Lion’s Den’ in 2011 and the album ‘Deadstock’ in 2015.
Even though the composition of Orange Monks has changed a few times with numerous partnerships and collaborations, Henrik, being the owner of this project, still managed to find a consistent sound and style that suited his voice and the songs produced along the way.
The “new” old album – which he calls “Long Lost Songs” – is packed with soft melodic indie songs all centered around and in synergy with Henrik’s soft and raspy voice, that almost becomes meditative in the more calm songs.
I would like to enhance the perfectly balanced melancholic vibes of track Goldfish on the album. The song is surely calming in its repetitive chorus notes, but a bit sad in the same way. I envision it played as a soundtrack in a movie scene, where people are saying goodbye to each other, leaving places for good. But despite this melancholic mood created by the piano, a sporadic trumpet often allows the mood to change to a happier one.
In general, a mood-setting feature on this album is that the vocals are the protagonist in this story of an album. It shifts and changes only slightly from song to song, but the effect is huge. I especially like when the vocals sound like coming from far away in ‘Karoshi’. Kinda’ like Henrik Astrup’s voice is playing on an old radio far away in an abandoned ballroom and the guitar is contrarily right there in the recording studio, close to the listener. It seems to be the way to bring an old school feel to the song; and it works.
You will like the album if you enjoy lyrics with feelings and meaning along with melancholic guitar-synergetic rock vocals. Picture Kurt Vile with a softer voice in a more thoughtful setting – and then you have a similar vibe to that of ‘Long Lost Songs’.
The release concert will focus on all the “new” old songs, different versions of them and hidden gems of demos that never made their way to previous recordings. Besides these ‘older’ songs, Henrik has included several songs that was produced in 2016/2017. So, something old and something new, which is the perfect combination to a vibrant indie balance in this case.