If we were 20 years ago, "Make Life" would have been released on an obscure but reputed lo-fi tapelabel (Blackbean and Placenta, Cactus Gum, Studio Muscle or Shrimper maybe?) and I would be writing this review for some hard to find printed black & white indie fanzine.
Today, "Make Live" is available to everyone for free on Bandcamp and I'm publishing this on my Blogspot, both virtually available for anyone. I see this as a huge progress, and it helps to makes indie and the whole d-i-y. attitude as an even better alternative to mainstream art, while avoiding a sometimes too elitist or arty attitude.
Even more people are joining the movement conjointly these days as now video & graphic artists are integral part of the game too, with online videos, acoustic sessions and live footage have become the indispensable complement to an online existence. Thanks to this situation we are probably experiencing the better period ever for being curious and open minded about music in general.
But speaking of records and songwriting, in the end, nothing totally changed as you're finally experiencing the music between your ears, on loudspeakers or headphones and quality standards stay the same as it is a love or hate story between emotions which are shared or not.
Previously called Young Minds, Orca Orca is the solo project of Jim Hewitt, from Allston, MA. (expanding to a whole band for his live shows). "Make Live" is available both on his Bandcamp and as a limited audio cassette. "Make Live" features six uptempo happysad indie jangle dreampop songs with a love for reverb & synths.
His songs have a straightforward emotional urgency full of simple but efficient melodic hooks. He's not reinventing his style of music but surprisingly you can keep returning to them and they are not losing their charm.
"Say So" is not so far from what the contemporary semi-gods of the genre, Craft Spells or Wild Nothing, are achieving but fails at getting the same mark level. So I even favor when he chooses the sidelines like with the invigorating "Underground" and "Holding On", playing an indie wild card and joining the team of false underdogs populated once by the likes of Vitesse, Aden or East River Pipe.
What I like the most are these songs he seems to be only playing for himself, for his own emotional balance, the dreamy and introspective "Designated Driver", which is for me like a long lost echo of Chuzzlewit or the heartfelt melancholy of "When the sung goes down".
A sweet and nice EP.