The sun always shines on the Cherry Orchard. On The Start of Our Affair, the duo of Jason Smith and Sara Onyett sustain a mood of romantic bliss that would've grown tiresome if the music wasn't so gorgeous. Utilizing acoustic guitars, xylophones, and horns, the Cherry Orchard sound like they ripped off the Pale Fountains' collection of early-'70s AM radio favorites. The Start of Our Affair is an album that is gleefully stuck in the past. However, none of it is forced. "MMM Delicious" recounts first love with unabashed sentimentalism. "That Summer Feeling" and "Star-Crossed Lovers" are swept by breezy xylophones. "Listening to Nancy" is a lush, soothing tribute to Nancy Sinatra. Unlike many indie pop groups, the Cherry Orchard didn't just sift through their parents' old records; they absorbed them. The Start of Our Affair isn't the work of faceless revivalists; the songs have real emotions. When Smith sings, "Wake up, wake up/It's that summer feeling of love," on "That Summer Feeling," the enthusiasm in his voice is infectious. Smith's coy, cheerful vocals are reminiscent of Ian Broudie and Nick Heyward. The Start of Our Affair is an uplifting, immediately likeable album that greets listeners with a smile and a dry martini.
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AllMusic Review by Michael Sutton