Lean in to Mandolin Orange’s new album, Blindfaller, and it’s bound to happen. You’ll suddenly pick up on the power and devastation lurking in its quietude, the doom hiding beneath its unvarnished beauty. You’ll hear the way it magnifies the intimacy at the heart of the North Carolina duo’s music, as if they created their own musical language as they recorded it.
Released Sept. 30 on Yep Roc Records, Blindfaller builds on the acclaim of Mandolin Orange’s breakthrough debut on the label, 2013’s This Side of Jordan, and its follow-up, last year’s Such Jubilee.
Since then they’ve steadily picked up speed and fans they’ve earned from long stretches on the road, including appearances at Austin City Limits, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and Pickathon. It’s been an auspicious journey for a pair who casually met at a bluegrass jam session in 2009.
As the duo’s songwriter, Marlin sharpens his lyrical prowess here, touching on broad themes of growing older and feeling helpless in a world torn by injustice. Sure, the album sounds classic, but it is rooted in the here and now of our daily headlines.
Don’t miss the talents of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Martin and violinist/guitarist Emily Frantz. Partners in music and life, they offer a heady mix of bluegrass, gospel, folk, country, and pop drawn from wells both old and new. It invokes a sort of earthy timelessness, beautifully enriched by their effortless harmonies. Their live shows are filled with vibrant chemistry, effortless instrumentation, and breezy, fluid harmonies that continue to win over local and faraway fans.