Track: New Zealand dream pop exponents Mild Orange unveil the ethereal ‘Oh Yeah’ as anticipation builds for their album ‘Looking For Space’ and European tour

Feature Photograph: Kenzie Pigman

The shimmering glow of the music being released by New Zealand’s Mild Orange augers well for their new album ‘Looking For Space’ due out on 10 February 2022, and the new single ‘Oh Year’ adds further fuel to the fire.

‘Oh Yeah’ has a quiet, reflective and smooth flow with sinuous guitars weaving in and out of the laid back vocals. This is an ethereal piece – a subtle retreat from a crowded shoegaze fuzz into something more widescreen and open with the crystalline guitars creating a complex dance and a spoken piece with a distorted megaphone blur provides a dreamy diversion. This is a track that evokes a languid late afternoon bucolic drift in the fading sun.

Frontman Josh Mehrtens says of the track:

I wrote the lyrics to ‘Oh Yeah’ to be intentionally about nothing – but within nothing there is always something. In an art history paper I did at uni, there was a quote I came across, and sadly, I’m not sure who from but it went something like: “with art, there is always meaning”. This got glossed over in the lecture but it’s stuck with me for years now. Even the decision not to have meaning has a meaning. I love this irony and found it comical that you can’t escape meaning, so I wanted to write lyrics about nothing, which meant little to me at the time except just to purely feel good. That ‘something’ can become clearer once you look back on the seemingly nothingness you tried to evoke.

It was upon reflecting on the song that I realized these words had come from somewhere and could take on some kind of meaning, which is what the spoken word outro is about. I recorded/wrote that outro section improvisationally in one go a couple of months after the initial recording of the song. We wrote and recorded ‘Oh Yeah’ in Carters Beach, on the rugged West Coast of New Zealand at a beach house only separated from the ocean by a paddock with horses roaming in it. It was very laid back and surfy there, which is how the song sounds. We all recorded our parts very laid back and unassumed of what it would become. What does the chorus “oh yeah ah ah ah yeah uh” even mean? No idea, but it feels good to sing.

The ‘Oh Yeah’ music video was directed and filmed by Simon Levalois-Bazier in Biarritz, France shot entirely on Kodak 16mm film, starring his friends, Evan and Clothilde. The band had put up an Instagram story looking for a film director for another project and Simon had reached out. Having been a Mild Orange fan for years, he was keen to contribute to the project. It perfectly matches the languor and sleepy drift of the track with its vintage feel and charming depiction from what seems another time, another era.

‘Oh Yeah is available to stream here and through the link below. ‘Looking For Space is available to pre-save and pre-order here.

Mild Orange set out for a norther hemisphere tour next month – details below and tickets information here.

Feature Photograph: Kenzie Pigman

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