Review: Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra

February 10th, 2018 by WLOY Staff

Artist: Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra  

Album: Stereoscope 

Release date: 02/09/2018  

RIYL: Civil Wars, The Dead Tongues, Bon Iver 

Rating: 8/10  


I have the chills, but that’s not because this winter has been brutally frigid here in Baltimore. In my short life, I have found that great music is goosebump-inflicting, and I am afflicted, thanks to Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra. Released on February 9, 2018, Stereoscope is the four-piece’s second full album. Compared to Stereoscope‘s predecessor, Pray for Rain, which has a lot of blues and traditional folk influences, Stereoscope sounds like Bon Iver with a twist. Stereoscope has a lot more string instruments, modern folk influences, and light rock influences. All in all, it’s a great album to listen to while reading (or prepping for a philosophy exam), in bed, under the covers, on a rainy Saturday. Here’s why:  

All the songs start to blend together after a certain point, which makes the album sound like one continuous track. I think this has to do with the reliance of the violin and the ballad-like styles of the album in general. It makes the album great to study or chill to, but it can get repetitive if you’re paying attention to the songs. There is also a pattern of the tracks ending on a contrasting upbeat melody, which really exhibits the songwriters’ creativity. You can hear the talent of the band members rising from the vibrations of their string instruments; the violin, guitar, banjo, and the stand-up bass. Marty O’Reilly’s voice is incredibly complimented by the violin and the guitar that it seems like his voice is a string instrument itself.  

The two tracks you’re likely to hear on WLOY Loyola Radio are “Southern Road” and “Off and on Again,” picks added by staff member Cara Hullings. It was after listening to “Southern Road” that I decided that I needed to hear the rest of the album. The track starts off with a dissonant sounding banjo intro, an ominous drum beat, and an eerie violin harmony. The lyrics, “where will I go? What was it that I hoped to return from,” mimic the mysterious vibe of the song, and are made more powerful by the way that the drums and the violin work together in that climactic moment in the song. “Off and on Again” has bumping stand-up basslines followed and lyrics that reel you in. In the beginning of the song the lyrics “was it supposed to be like this? off and on again” help the listener to relate to all the crazy, stressful, back-and-forth situations that make you wonder “why?”. Both tracks are awesome and make you want to twirl to their flowing beats. And if you can’t dance (like me), you may want to listen to the album in private, so your co-workers don’t catch you dancing in your seat. The rest of the album is just as moving, so definitely give it a listen! 

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