Orioxy “Lost Children”

OrioxyEvocative storytelling perfectly suits this quartet
Orioxy’s third album resonates most when it re-imagines the template of simple folk music. Evocative storytelling perfectly suits this quartet of Manu Hagmann on double bass, Roland Merlinc on drums, harpist Julie Campiche and Yael Miller’s voice which at best is pure and unadorned, yet rich with the flavour of her mother tongue, Hebrew.

These stories have a modern accent though. Princeless is Yael’s re-telling of the Cinderella tale, it’s riven with longing and bereft of the happy ending. Soft electronic cries, a melancholic double bass and bare drum taps use a delicacy that binds the whole piece together. Yael Miller’s voice flips between innocence and sensuous knowing throughout, calling on her natural ability for drama. Song of Love is wonderfully accompanied by a percussive typewriter as if the singer is dictating her letter. Some type of squeeze box murmurs sadly and drops of electronica fold into a sympathetic bass solo, all the while the fountain-like harp sparkling light and fresh.

Julie CampicheCampiche’s timing seems to fly directly from her heart
The harp is really the heroine of this album with Julie Campiche’s myriad of subtle colours and styles perfectly placed again and again. Her solo in Isha is spine-tingling. This track is ranging and borderless, a landscape of yearning vocals and grooving rhythms helped by tape rewinds and effects. At first the harp captivates with Middle Eastern vibes amid deep double bass twangs that fall into dark scrapes, before the harp emerges in a solo full of soul and expression. Campiche’s timing seems to fly directly from her heart.

I don’t mind Yael’s rapping or the use of the Sami Darg Team (rappers from Gaza) on Bachour Meshouamam (A Bored Boy) but it does break the spell of the delicate web of lovelorn melodies. As an album, Lost Children does face the danger of its gentle downtempo mood coming to a lethargic halt so I welcome a bit more spit and verve. However, this is best done with their own instruments such as in Old World. Using a bow on the double bass and suitable electronics they bring a free rock track together without a whiff of lead guitar.

There could be a further clarity of the unique Orioxy sound
‘Music doesn’t have a style,’ Yael sings and it’s true this album does not fit into a neat genre. But music does need to have a clear identity, and although this is a decent third album I feel there could be a further clarity of the unique Orioxy sound gained through exploring further musical depth and developing musicianship and songwriting skills.

Interestingly, Orioxy do a captivating interpretation of Paul McCartney’s Blackbird. But in a way that cover serves to show what a truly stunning song can do. It’s the track that has stayed in my head. Orioxy have a good line up of gigs, often a chance for a band to get to know itself on a deeper level. Grab a chance to hear them play as I’m sure there will be some wonderful moments of magic.

Orioxy website and tour dates

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