New O+S – “We Do What We Want To”

Orenda Fink is assembling quite the bio. First there was Saddle Creekers Azure Ray, who were great, and then they were gone. After a solo release (Invisible Ones) came Art In Manila, a Fink-fronted outfit which employed her pristine vocals on the heartfelt confessional “The Abomination” and a campfire rearrangement of Les Savy Fav’s “The Sweat Descends.” Her next step seemed outside the realm of album-release activity — an artist residency at Omaha’s Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts — until she realized the field recordings she had accumulated for that project were in fact perfect album-release activity. Harnessing street and societal sounds from Alabama to Haiti, she turned to longtime friend Scalpelist (aka Cedric LeMoyne of Remy Zero) to give the audio ephemera some shape via loop construction, instrumental arrangement, and beat injection. Ten songs and a Saddle Creek deal later, we have O+S.

There’s a dichotomy to the name, and one to the music: Orenda’s ghostly, diaphanous vocals feel ominous next to Scalpelist’s haunted patchwork of samples and instrumentation on some songs (hence the David Lynch press materials name drop), and self-consciously uplifting on others. “We Do What We Want To” finds the bittersweet go-between, building acoustic guitar, keyboards, silken coos, and whirling samples into a subtly anthemic strain of dream-pop. In the vein of School Of Seven Bells, sans their secret machine.

O+S – “We Do What We Want To” (MP3)
O+S – “Permanent Scar” (MP3)

O+S’s self-titled debut is out 3/24 via Saddle Creek. Hear more at MySpace.