For “Yearling” ORCAS members Benoît Pioulard and Rafael Anton Irisarri (The Sight Below) teamed up with Martyn Heyne (of Efterklang) on guitar and piano, and Michael Lerner (Telekinesis) on drums to built upon the subdued ambience of their self-titled debut, adding a huge dose of analog warmth to their hazy pop leanings.
Whereas many songs on ORCAS’ first album were built from guitar improvisations and impromptu vocal sessions, most of “Yearling” was constructed from short pieces Pioulard wrote and developed while staying in Germany during the summer of 2012. Working together at Heyne’s Lichte Studio in Berlin and Irisarri’s own Black Knoll Studio back in Seattle, they brought the album into full form over the course of the following year.
Whether it’s the soaring guitars of “Infinite Stillness”, the Lynchian otherworldliness of “Filament”, the echoes of Spirit of Eden-era Talk Talk on “Capillaries” or the slow-building tape loops of “Tell”, Yearling subsists on variation while holding a lyrical center. Pioulard muses on absence, presence, dedication and distance; there’s an ode to geography (“Selah”) and a lamentation of discord (“An Absolute”).