Orphans & Vandals

26 08 2008
This past few weeks I’ve become increasingly enthralled by London based band, Orphans & Vandals. I stumbled across one of their songs – Mysterious Skin – by chance on an oul mixed playlist recently and thought I’d unearthed an old gem from the mid 80’s. But no, Orphans & Vandals are a fairly new outfit, so new in fact that for some reason beyond my comprehension they have yet to be signed and seem to have been largely overlooked by the hype-machine in favour of safe, generic poppets like The Ting Tings and The Coronas. Try as I might, I can find nay a snippet of what I’ve now decided are my ‘new favorite band’ on t’internet bar their myspace page and one dodgy camera phone clip on youtube.

Rather than watching the aforementioned dodgy clip, listen to the lyrically ethereal Mysterious Skin on their myspace page. Lead vocalist Al Joshua’s heartfelt formulaic storytelling is nostalgic of Lou Reed and Whipping Boy and the rising orchestral mix of violins, piano, glockenspiel, toy piano and a host of instrumental oddities laid over a looping bass riff all serve to convey the songs crisp imagery of a story set in Paris. The song has the potential to border on arty pretension but somehow the genuine simplicity in Joshua’s voice powers through and the result is a 10 minute nostalgia trip of love, sex and loss.

Mysterious Skin truly is treat for the senses and one of the most heartfelt and genuine performances to grace my ears in a long time. I can’t stop listening to it.

A rare 10/10.



2 responses

25 01 2009
Hush at The Royal Albert Hall « Oh, And Another Thing…

[…] at The Royal Albert Hall Back in August ‘08 I posted something akin to a slushy love letter to a song that I had heard from little-known band, Orphans & Vandals. The song is called […]

2 05 2013

My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be just what I’m
looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content available for you?
I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome website!

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