The new album from Orchestra of Spheres, Mirror, out now via Fire Records, is so far outside the realm of the usual alt-rock on offer these days that I find myself at a loss for how to describe it. The album from the New Zealand act is bold, unconventionally melodic, and downright brave. It is, obviously, a rewarding release for any attentive listener.
The title track veers close to territory once occupied by Cocteau Twins, while the brighter "Chimes" and "Summer Fungus" offer up world music-influenced rhythmic workouts that hark back to the early Eighties run of records from Talking Heads and King Sunny Ade. Elsewhere, the epic "Koudede" stirs the music towards that of soundtracks, while the lovely and proggy closer "Foggy Day" echoes Eno's stuff from the Seventies, among other things.
The music here on Mirror is iconoclastic and far beyond the possibility of easy description. For those reasons, it's safe to say that this new Orchestra of Spheres record is the sort of thing that should please those who mourn the days when releases like this were more routine in the world of alternative music.
Mirror is out now via Fire Records.
[Photo: Uncredited promotional image]