“Wild Raspberries” is the first release of Sir Orfeo. Its songs are both gentle and arresting (you’re under a rest!) and meld disparate influences, coming in for a landing in the strange borderlands of art-pop and avant-folk. Though lushness is the word, in these recordings is also apparent a sense of alchemy and disruption, cinema and remembrance. Listen for sampling keyboards, drum machines, and guitars that sound like birds.
These songs sound like the places in which they were written– next to wood stove with cat-on-lap, in blanket-forts in Paris flat, the peace of a New York state monastery, and a windy old barn on a remote island in the Maritimes. They were brought into being by the aesthetic direction of Karl Helander (Cousin Moon, Sun Parade), the strange and wonderful Sonic Exploration Rig of Eli Salus-Kleiner (Sun Parade), and the engineerial musical mastery of Ian Hersey (Carefree Studios, Brooklyn NY).
Sir Orfeo is the solo project of Max Wareham, who learned his trade serving as contributing songwriter to studio-collective Cousin Moon, road-dogging as bassist in psych-pop outfit Sun Parade, studying jazz in the conservatory, digging holes on a horse farm, “rambling”, and touring as opener and personal driver for British folk legend Martin Carthy. He also lives an alternate life as a bluegrass banjo player and performs with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.