(Mandolin Orange Music)
Quiet Little Room serves as Mandolin Orange’s debut studio release. This Carrboro team recorded these compositions at the Rubber Room in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. These 12 songs capture the work of a talented duo.
Andrew Marlin and Emily Franz possess a strong chemistry. The two produced this album. Marlin plays guitar, bass, mandolin and organ while Franz handles fiddle, viola and rhythm guitar duties. Their harmonizing evokes the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris territory, and that’s a heavy comparison, but Mandolin Orange’s aspiration appears high.
The quiet “These Old Wheels” opens the disc, and retains a smooth, dry sonic quality with great harmonizing. Franz sings lead vocal on “Your Cryin’ Eyes”. Her voice carries undeniable strength in its soothing effect. Franz’s fiddle playing sounds like smoke rings floating in the air…
Marlin’s lead vocal on “Wee Bird” captures the listener’s attention by the lyrical narrative. “Easy” finds both Franz and Marlin playing guitars and singing lead vocals, which constructs a tapestry weaved by pure harmony and melody. “Modern Man”, a light-hearted ditty, fits well in this song sequence that carries a laid back mood.
“One More Down” demonstrates the proficient musical abilities of Mandolin Orange, and continues the Sunday morning reflective coherence. Franz delivers a great vocal performance on “Night Owl”, a country number. “A Thousand Amen” sounds like back porch gospel in Appalachia.
“Lullaby” captures the essence of this duo. “Poor Boy Poor Me” showcases deft acoustic instrumentation. The closing track, “Quiet Little Turnaround”, features Marlin playing banjo and Franz on fiddle in a beautiful little country instrumental. With the sensory texture this song conjures...you can almost smell the flowers in the field…