Earlier this year, Orchid Mantis released Kulla Sunset, a collection of tracks based on a memory of Thomas Howard’s from when he was younger. It begins and ends with him running through the fields of his grandparents’ yellow summer house in Sweden, trying to chase the slowly setting light of the sun through the tall grass, where the horses graze. It’s heavy with the feelings of curiosity and wonder with bits and pieces of introspection and wistfulness peppered in, and, perhaps more from the lovely tone of the anecdote, it also contains some level of ease, of certainty, in both its positive and negative connotations – negative in the thought that things, even the carefree feelings of childhood, must, at some point, come to a stopping point, but that, perhaps more importantly, there is also the chance for those positive memories to be replenished once again in your second form. Howard points to this in his upcoming full length album, a continuation of that same memory:
“Last year, an emblem of my childhood, my grandparent’s yellow house in Sweden, was sold and repainted, forever altered. As if predestined, that same year my friends and significant other rented out a new yellow house – in physical terms, this is where I spent the last year writing and recording this album (and parts of the last), but in a larger sense, the yellow houses represent the synchronous, cyclical patterns the trajectories of our lives seem to adhere to: nothing is ever truly here, and nothing is ever truly gone – leaving and returning, reoccurring.”
This idea of cycles, unsurprisingly, translates particularly well into the haze of dream and bedroom pop, and “Porch Song” feels like the most ideal track to introduce the theme, existing as perfect little melancholic swirls of guitar and atmospheric pools of synth, breaking the perpetual melody only to deliver his passionate chorus: “What did you want to be/ eternal now/ After all this life/ I don’t know now.” His vocals melt into the fraying colors and textures of the instrumentals, but after each chorus the guitar always seems to end bright and strong, delicately teetering on the cusp of another beautiful cycle.
Yellow House is out November 11.
photo courtesy of artist