Orchard Street Sounds


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Orchard Street Sounds Review

by Stephen Cramer

Massachusetts lo-fi project Minnetonka wistfully created 13 simple songs on Orchard Street Sounds. The music is easily comparable to Lou Barlow of Sebadoh's solo project, Sentridoh, as well as Ohio singer/songwriter Eric Metronome. The urgency of "Polaroids Destroyed" is a prime example of how four-track recorders afforded indie musicians with a cheap alternative to pricey recording studios. "Peppermint Gum" is classic lo-fi pop, as the "band" (listed only as "the Minnetonka kid" in the liner notes) strums on guitar and croons passionately. On some of the songs, like "Half Empty," his voice reaches a high-pitched level à la Unbunny. "Winterlude" is a simple, acoustic instrumental. "Like the Pioneers" is probably the liveliest track, with layered vocals and a steadily strummed guitar. He adds harmonica to the mix on "Delinquent," while the guitar work gets a little more intricate. The disc comes to a sputtering halt with the sublime "Don't Worry for Me," which ends with the sound of cars driving by, adding to the home recording feel of the entire disc. Orchard Street Sounds was recorded in 1996 and 1997 and released on California's Blackbean & Placenta Records soon after.