Mandolin Orange’s music radiates a mysterious warmth —their songs feel like whispered secrets, one hand cupped to your ear. The North Carolina duo have built a steady and growing fanbase with this kind of intimacy, and on Tides of A Teardrop, due out February 1, it is more potent than ever. By all accounts, it is the duo’s fullest, richest, and most personal effort. You can hear the air between them—the taut space of shared understanding, as palpable as a magnetic field, that makes their music sound like two halves of an endlessly completing thought. Singer-songwriter Andrew Marlin and multi- instrumentalist Emily Frantz have honed this lamp glow intimacy for years.

On Tides of A Teardrop, Marlin wrote the songs, as he usually does, in a sort of stream of consciousness, allowing words and phrases to pour out of him as he hunted for the chords and melodies. Then, as he went back to sharpen what he found, he found something troubling and profound. Intimations of loss have always haunted the edges of their music, their lyrics hinting at impermanence and passing of time. But Tides of A Teardrop confronts a defining loss head-on: Marlin's mother, who died of complications from surgery when he was 18.

These songs, as well as their sentiments, remain simple and quiet, like all of their music. But beneath the hushed surface, they are staggeringly straightforward. “I’ve been holding on to the grief for a long time. In some ways I associated the grief and the loss with remembering my mom. I feel like I’ve mourned long enough. I’m ready to bring forth some happier memories now, to just remember her as a living being."

For this album, Marlin and Frantz enlisted their touring band, who they also worked with on their last album Blindfaller. Having recorded all previous albums live in the studio, they approached the recording process in a different way this time. “We went and did what most people do, which we’ve never done before—we just holed up somewhere and worked the tunes out together,” Frantz says. There is a telepathy and warmth in the interplay on Tides of A Teardrop that brings a new dynamic to the foreground—that holy silence between notes, the air that charges the album with such profound intimacy. “This record is a little more cosmic, almost in a spiritual way—the space between the notes was there to suggest all those empty spaces the record touches on,” acknowledges Marlin. There are many powerful ways of acknowledging loss; sometimes the most powerful one is saying nothing at all.

Martha Scanlan

Anyone familiar with Martha Scanlan and Jon Neufeld’s unique alchemy on stage will not be surprised by the sense of being taken into the moment their shows are in and of themselves a journey of improvisation; the way Jon Neufeld’s brilliant innovative guitar playing weaves effortlessly around Martha’s timeless songwriting is simply magical.

They met playing together at Portland’s Indie Roots festival Pickathon in 2010, shortly before recording Tongue River Stories, a beautifully stark album of field recordings captured on film at the 120 year old family ranch where Martha was living and working in a remote corner of south east Montana (The Meadow on YouTube is a stunning introduction).

“I wanted to record songs in the places where they were written; there is such a beautiful intimacy with the landscape in ranch work and in the place itself, stories inside of stories inside of stories…” This exploration of place and belonging has been a long running theme, but really came into focus while being immersed in old time music in East Tennessee. “

The interwoven relationship between music and landscape, people and stories really impacted me, just this profound sense of belonging. I started writing songs there, songs about my own landscapes back home in Montana. I missed them.”

After touring with the innovative old time string band Reeltime Travelers, those songs evolved into her debut solo album The West Was Burning. Recorded at Levon Helm’s barn in Woodstock, New York with Dirk Powell and Levon and Amy Helm, it was heralded as an instant classic, one of those rare albums that defies genre and generation.

Touring the country and Europe solo, with North Carolina’s Stuart Brothers and in other various configurations eventually led to the collaboration with Jon Neufeld.

After Tongue River Stories came The Shape Of Things Gone Missing, The Shape Of Things To Come, recorded in Portland with members of Black Prairie and The Decemberists. A featured album by World Café’s David Dye and No Depression’s Amos Perrine, the biggest criticism was that it was hard to find. Sometimes she’s hard to find, preferring to spend more time off the grid than on it.
“I’m kind of wired for quiet places,” she admits.

Buy now with no additional fees!

Check Lyte.com for additional tickets

Missed out on tickets? Try using our Ticket Exchange powered by Lyte to find tickets to this sold out show.

***

GA: Standing Room with some first come first serve seating

RESERVED: Reserved seat on platform. Limited availability.
***

The Commonwealth Room l 195 W Commonwealth Ave l 
box@thecommonwealthroom.com

Follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Thanks for keeping it live!

Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
The Commonwealth Room

  • Sorry, there are currently no upcoming events.