The Orange Peels: Sun Moon

Sun Moon is a superb collection of songs that will want you to head out in your muscle car on a sunny summer day with the windows down and the tunes flowing out of the stereo.

The Orange Peels

Sun Moon

Label: Mystery Lawn Music / Minty Fresh
US Release Date: 2013-05-14
UK Release Date: 2013-05-20

When it came time to record the Orange Peels’ fifth album, Sun Moon, bassist and founding member Jill Pries had to take a unique approach. Because the band’s main songwriter, Allen Clapp, was off producing albums for other bands and running his new boutique record label, Mystery Lawn Music, he was too busy to really commit to writing new songs for the Orange Peels, so that led Pries to organizing practice sessions for a new album, even though Clapp hadn’t written anything for the band to record. That lit a fire under Clapp’s behind, and it also helped Sun Moon become something more of a collaborative process. That approach really worked, as Sun Moon is a breezy, jangly affair. While the band have been compared to the likes of the Byrds, the Beach Boys and Burt Bacharach in the past, Sun Moon has the same pop punch of an early New Pornographers album, with a little dash of early Todd Rundgren before his songwriting went off the rails, tossed in.

In fact, there’s hardly a duff track to be found on Sun Moon. “The Words Don’t Work” has a dazzling, pop sheen compacted into an exact two minutes, while “Your New Heroes” has a riffing, mid-tempo crunch that will have you nodding your head and saying, “yeah”. The band practices its Rundgren-esque keyboard vamps on “Traveling West/Sundowns” while “Grey Holiday” is so sunny in its Californian vibe that it even nicks a little bit of the melody from the theme to Sesame Street, believe it or not. Equally as memorable is “Æther Tide”, which shows the band extending its chops to the sort of solar pop perfected by A. C. Newman. And “Watch Her Fly” has a clarion ‘70s AM gold feel to it -- it sounds like something you might have heard from the era, but quite can’t put a finger on, which lends itself to feeling wholly original. All in all, Sun Moon is a superb collection of songs that will want you to head out in your muscle car on a sunny summer day with the windows down and the tunes flowing out of the stereo. The change in approach to making this album has landed the Orange Peels with a real winner, even if Clapp may have found himself travelling more in the backseat. This is clearly a band to watch and, even more so, listen to with enrapt attention.




Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.


Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.


Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.


Alastair Sim: A Very English Character Actor Genius

Alastair Sim belongs to those character actors sometimes accused of "hamming it up" because they work at such a high level of internal and external technique that they can't help standing out.


Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers Head "Underwater" in New Video (premiere)

Celebrating the first anniversary of Paper Castle, folksy poppers Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers release an uplifting new video for opening track, "Underwater".


Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's New LP Is Lacking in Songcraft but Rich in Texture

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's The Mosaic of Transformation is a slightly uneven listen. It generally transcends the tropes of its genre, but occasionally substitutes substance for style.


Buzzcocks' 1996 Album 'All Set' Sees the Veteran Band Stretching Out and Gaining Confidence

After the straightforward and workmanlike Trade Test Transmissions, Buzzcocks continued to hone their fresh identity in the studio, as exhibited on the All Set reissue contained on the new box-set Sell You Everything.


Patrick Madden's 'Disparates' Makes Sense in These Crazy Times

There's no social distancing with Patrick Madden's hilarious Disparates. While reading these essays, you'll feel like he's in the room with you.


Perfume Genius Purges Himself and It's Contagious

You need to care so much about your art to pack this much meaning into not only the words, but the tones that adorn and deliver them. Perfume Genius cares so much it hurts on Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Confinement and Escape: Emma Donoghue and E.L. Doctorow in Our Time of Self-Isolation

Emma Donoghue's Room and E.L. Doctorow's Homer & Langley define and confront life within limited space.


Political Cartoonist Art Young Was an Aficionado of all Things Infernal

Fantagraphics' new edition of Inferno takes Art Young's original Depression-era critique to the Trump White House -- and then drags it all to Hell.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.