21 Jan 2021
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2 a.m. Orchestra - Album Review: Trading Graves

20 Feb 2020 // A review by Paul Goddard
I am sitting in a bar in rainy Manchester, UK.

Storm Dennis is about to hit. Boris is fucking up the UK and smooching with Trump who is fucking up America.

Meghan and Harry have seen sense and jumped ship and through all the chaos I have waves of melancholy and peace floating through my airpods courtesy of 2 A.M. Orchestra.

For the uninitiated 2 A.M. Orchestra is the creative outlet for David Kelley. As the clock ticks and you settle back and listen you will get sucked into his vortex.

True talent shines and like a moth to a flame I am transported. Lost in a subtle tractor beam that isn’t so much pulling me in as seeping through my senses. 

It’s the voice, the undoubtable passion that is infectious. But what about the music?

Yeah, sure it jingles and jangles in all the right places. It feels familiar and comforting but set against that voice and those lyrics it is the perfect backdrop for reflection, contemplation, observation. Any station that connects you to your soul

This is what music is all about. Getting you from a place you are in to a place you want to be. If it isn’t working you switch it off.

One day you want to be screaming, one day you want to be dreaming. We all Spotify to our mood, stream the mood, switch and chop and change. It is overfuckingwhelming. Like someone once said “ they can’t get no satisfaction”

In a musical world that is saturated we need an umbrella. A place where we can take a step off to re-calibrate. Listening to Trading Graves leaves you feeling like you just had a heart-to-heart with your best mate.

Is this getting across? If not you need to reset the switch. Open your mind and step on. If you want to reset the switch, buy Trading Graves or anything else by 2 AM Orchestra It will cleanse your palate, repair your soul and make you inwardly smile.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About 2 a.m. Orchestra

Based on an epidemic of insomnia-inflicting inspiration, 2 a.m. Orchestra was the name chosen by David Kelley while working on some recordings in early 2000. Just prior to the release of what would be the first album (2 a.m. Orchestra, 2001), Kelley formed and prepped a band to play in support of the release. From that time, the live line-up has varied widely, from a 2-piece snare drum and guitar duo, to an instrument-swapping 6-piece. Kelley did a number of U.S. tours with these various line-ups (and even a solo tour). Such personnel fluctuations continued on up through the 2nd full-length release, Impermanence (2005), which proved to be an apt, if not intentional title as the ever-changing live show became the band’s most noted characteristic.

After the release of Impermanence Kelley began travelling, living abroad and performing in various locations such as New York, Central America and even China. 2 a.m. Orchestra was put on the back-burner while Kelley toured with various projects: a country band that did shows for troops at international military bases, a theatre company performing a rock opera, and a percussion trio that gigged at state fairs. However, Kelley continued to write and record throughout this period. During two consecutive summers, the songwriter made a makeshift project studio from his grandmother’s country house located on the outskirts of his hometown (Fresno). These periods were spent compiling, writing, and recording a significant percentage of what now constitutes the entire 2 a.m. Orchestra catalogue (the vast majority of which remains unreleased).

Over the years, 2 a.m. Orchestra has primarily remained a solo endeavour – a one-man recording project with occasional outbursts of live performances. One such outburst occurred in 2008, a year after Kelley moved to Los Angeles. The L.A. band was a four-piece powerhouse with a turbo-charged rhythm section, gritty vocals, and surf-tone guitars. The band played sporadically, packing out indie venues like The Derby and Molly Malone’s.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for 2 a.m. Orchestra

Releases

2 a.m. Orchestra
Year: ????
Type: Album
Trading Graves
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Working To Divide
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Live At Lopdell House Theatre
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Fire Escape
Year: 2010
Type: EP
Impermanence
Year: 2005
Type: Album

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