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Album Review
Orchid Door

Orchid Door
by Selon Recliner


Review Date
17th August 2009
Reviewed by
Hayley Koorts

Selon Recliner’s rich, sonic journey takes flight as their second album, The Orchid Door, descends swiftly onto the shelves of your favourite music store. Auckland’s atmospheric collective creates the perfect soundtrack to that fireside nightcap of G & T, splashed with a dash of philosophical commentary and meditative jazz.

The fusion of Guy Wishart and Belinda Bradley’s conjoint brainchild was born – as are most organic music projects – through a favourable coincidence of the geographical kind (as Bradley explains: “When Guy moved in on the same street as us in Herne Bay, we couldn’t put [working together] off any longer”). The duo was soon accompanied by rhythm junkies Vernon Rive and Michael Te Young, elctro-savvy Perry Bradley and singing starlet Darlene Te Young.

Swan, the opening track, is an uplifting, airborne saga that soars alongside a grandiose orchestral score intertwined with new-age glitter. It glistens with smoky wisps of emotive strings, clearing a safe passage for the listener through the tumultuous storm. It makes for an auspicious beginning to what promises to be a majestic voyage into the creative well of some of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. Carrying on the avian motif, Fire Bird is another stand-out track. With a melody sailing against a backdrop of starry voices and pagan drums, Selon Recliner delivers another colourful, elegantly composed piece with pinches of alluring sparkle. My only complaint is at times I feel led-on by restrained vocals and lack of climax, leaving me yearning for the abandonment of a Bjorkian-style seizure. However, personal preferences aside, it is hard to fault the bewitching quintet for producing a slice of audio bliss from our very own backyard.

They are a perfect example of a hidden gem, obscured by the plethora of over-hyped and over-promoted local artists, which the public seem to follow blindly as part of their patriotic duty. If you’re embracing the current multi-textured sound of fellow Kiwi musical collagists Sola Rosa, then let Selon Recliner provide you your latest infatuation.

Sounds like: Modern lounge with a classical sentiment, think Bond after taking acid with Morcheeba.

Listen to while: Entertaining the Jones’ with an aperitif and feigning aristocratic sophistication

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