If you’re looking for a type of music that transcends multiple genres and continents – a sound unlike anything you have ever heard compiled onto a single album before – then Marina Orchestra and their debut full-length album Take on the Silence may be just what you’ve been waiting for.
There have been numerous bands over the years to incorporate the word “Orchestra” into their name - Manchester Orchestra, Dark Star Orchestra, and Electric Light Orchestra to name a few. But in this case, these guys (and gals) live up to their name. The “Marina” portion takes care of the tropical, summer atmosphere they bring to the table, and “Orchestra” lets you in on the immense backing they have behind their sound. The band is made up of a whole slew of musicians; seven of them contributed to this first album, but they bring in even more artists to help them out while playing live shows.
On paper, hearing that a guy with an apparent indie boy voice is the front for such a size-able band with deep island influence may seem like a stretch. But once it hits your eardrums you realize that they are able to make it work flawlessly. They start strong with the catchy “Talk of the Town”, continue solidly throughout the thick of the album, and finish just as impressively with “Music Like Thunder”. They have found a way to introduce a world music atmosphere into the indie realm, and in doing so have created something that is a perfect combination between the two.
The band set out to make a sound that everybody and their mother would want to dance to, and they have created nothing less than just that. It is almost impossible to not have the urge to get up and dance, or at the very minimum the impulse to tap your feet and bob your head, after hearing this music.
There is a lot of repetition of lines within the lyrics, although that doesn’t take away from any of the music’s intensity and in fact makes the songs catchier. It also makes it easier to start singing along to the songs. Because they don’t rely too heavily on creating complex stories to pepper their album, they are instead able to better depend on their elaborate instrumentation and equally impressive melodies to make their songs so memorable.
The album itself is all about music, right down to many of the song’s lyrics. They sing about everything from a man playing on the side of the street whose music is so good that people will be talking about the performance for years to come, in “Talk of the Town,” to “Midnight Tonight,” which explains the meaning behind the album’s title, Take on the Silence. He sings, “Takin’ it slow while the music is easy. Take on the silence, take on the silence. From the tops of the trees to the bottom of the salt seas. Takin’ it easy, takin’ it easy. And off in the dark where the music is sleeping. Take on the silence, take on the silence!” Their whole idea throughout the album is to replace silence with an abundance of music, and that is just what they have done.
Marina Orchestra has proved that you don’t need to live on an island in order to be able to create great, tropically-infused music that will plant the dancing mood deep into your soul. And they retain that same beachy, care-free mood no matter what type of turn their songs take. They’ve got a sound that is great via album, but one that would without a doubt expand tenfold at a concert where direct interaction with the music is possible. Marina Orchestra has taken on the silence by introducing themselves with a big bang.