These Little Dreams
Spinning again and again is " These Little Dreams. "
It's the new offering from The Ormidales.
This one, like the last, examines a number of themes without sacrificing the cohesion that allows a sense of seamlessness.
The Ormidales have a lot to say, and it's said well.
Over 8 songs we are served a series of little dreams, but these dreams are far from small.
The expanse of expression is free of clutter, and that is smartly matched by spacious and sensitive arrangements.
This one really breathes.
It kicks off with a rollicking, genuine slice of Americana by Canadians.
" Last Time " is propelled by Producer PD Wohl's take on the elusive " thin wild mercury sound " made famous ( by design or fluke ) by everyone's favorite mid ' 60's Nashville Cats.
The production throughout " These Little Dreams " is razor sharp, and " Last Time " is a great jump start.
" Boy So Blue " downshifts into inspired melancholy while avoiding all temptation to drift into the malaise that often plagues this universal theme.
The title tells us what it's about, but this boy isn't content to wallow, and I'm left with the impression that while he's blue now, he may not be blue for long.
This smooth downshift inspires our confidence in the driver.
Said confidence allows us to move on, and movement is what the title track " These Little Dreams " is all about.
Modes of transport, some real, some a product of the subconscious, push and pull us along through the adhesive nature of memory, and it's an always interesting trip.
" I Heard It On The Radio " is up next and I believe it's a tribute to our love affair with the airwaves of our collective past.
That's how it works for me anyway, and work it does.
This brings me back to my decade, when the radio was it.
Our friend, our teacher, our alarm.
It's where we first heard our anthems.
Maybe that doesn't happen anymore.
It doesn't for me, but " I Heard It On The Radio " reminds me that it once did, and what that meant to me.
I've had the opportunity to listen to " What Am I Supposed To Do " for weeks before the rest of these songs.
I'm no closer to what I hoped would be a sense of resolution.
This one twists me around with it's random spooky disassociations.
There is a palpable sense of dread here that hits home and I can't shake it.
Not sure I want to.
Our constantly questioning hero is in a fix that I empathize with a bit too closely for comfort.
Needless to say, he one of my favorites in The Ormidales' cast of characters.
Willing to bet his concerns remain unresolved in the hoped for sequel.
I'm okay with that.
No I'm not.
" She Said You Said " is proof that The Ormidales finally got that time machine working.
It's a romp through the best of early ' 60's British heartbreak pop.
Were we ever really that young?
See George try not to look at Mr. Sullivan while he performs his Shadows dance and anchors himself to the real world with his Gretsch.
On the flip side is " Mrs Allen. "
It's the message no one wants.
From a poem by Malcolm McGonigal, it's a grim indictment of the horror that all wars bring.
The heartbreaking violin, and an at odds chorus of " we have to fight / why must we fight, " serve well the power of the message.
The Ormidales wrap it up with " This Day Is Done. "
A fitting finish.
We've been through a lot, and of this day The Ormidales tell us it's " Had it's problems, and it's fine with us. "
It's fine with us too.
Bill Oliver and Mark Branscombe have given us a lot to think about.
Like the ancient moon that smiles down from the disc's cover, there is wisdom here.