Hold Space for Me

Orion Sun

(CD - Mom + Pop Music #CDMP 458)

Review by Marcy Donelson

A silky smooth, subtly off-kilter album that's steeped in soft-spoken, earnest affection, Hold Space for Me is the full-length debut of Orion Sun, the stage alias of Philadelphia-based musician Tiffany Majette. Under the Orion Sun banner, she gathers components of spare hip-hop, jazz, indie rock, and seductive R&B in the vein of both Frank Ocean and Sade, then seemingly reconstitutes them in the bedroom closet. Orion Sun first emerged in 2017 with a series of mixtapes before signing with Mom + Pop Music for her official debut. The ensuing Hold Space for Me establishes an album-length restrained, moonlit tone with "Lightning," a song that offers a muscular slow groove and humming organ under light, intermittent mallet percussion, piano, and guitar. Overtop, a wistful vocal melody delivers lyrics that look for comfort while recalling a time in childhood when lightning struck her family's home; the event ultimately led to a period of homelessness. In keeping with its warm but unsettled, yearning quality, the warped and dreamy "Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don't Leave Me)" also looks for security ("Had some nights that weren't nice/I needed something more/Found you in them bright lights"), and "Coffee for Dinner" shows gratitude for loyalty through everyday struggle and self-doubt ("You saw a winner when I felt like a loser"). Particularly on that song but throughout the album, Orion Sun's intricate, quiet arrangements and confined sound are the perfect complement to her intimate lyrics and ruminative, sighing delivery. It's a compelling debut built for headphone listening and one with diverse enough musical touchpoints to appeal to a broad range of contemplators and insomniacs.

blue highlight denotes track pick