Like the Appalachian folk music that provides their instrumental context, Chapel Hill, North Carolina duo Mandolin Orange play in a way that’s unaffected, honest, and understated. The opposite of consciously self-conscious performers, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz come across as genuinely pleased to meet you whether it’s on stage or in person.
Quiet Little Room, the duo’s new album, contains echoes of the Avett Brothers, Townes Van Zandt, Bill Morrissey, and John Gorka, with Marlin providing the songwriting and Frantz her beautiful voice. Songs such as “Wee Bird” have mutiple layers of meaning upon meaning, and are written in such a way as to suggest that perhaps what you’re ascribing to it may be something different than Marlin started out with–that’s the mark of a great song, I think, one that can be different things to different people and still stand up as a melodic structure.
Here’s Mandolin Orange playing “Wee Bird” live:
Want to hear more? Check out the songs on their Myspace