It was about nine months ago when local music mingling song scribbler Jesse Shepherd Bates sat down at a piano, plodding and plotting his next band, with perennial collaborator Erik Roosen providing softly rumbled plucks from a bassfiddle. The once, former, current, and maybe, again, future-member of the Satin Peaches seems to start something new at least every year or so… Something comes, a song, a sound, a string of lyrics… and he decides quickly to follow it.
So it seemed like a pretty good idea. An indie-pop Orchestra. But a real orchestra. “A band with a bunch of strings rather than amps…”
He considers it to be a “massive project” and in less than three weeks (1.26.13) at the Magic Stick, you can sort of see and sort of hear (or least learn about) what his orchestra…
…is all about.
The only thing is, as he and producer Topher Horn were nearing completion of this project, when… “Topher’s laptop got stolen with all the mixes, six months of D’Orchestra-studio-work on it…and that kinda halted the work a little bit.”
What comes out at this D’Orchestra ‘release’ show is not the proper debut of the acoustical ensemble JSB initially envisioned, but a “Prelude.” For the last three years, JSB’s been constantly tracking demos, solo-acoustic pop-diary entries, in Royal Oak or Detroit, in a basement or a bedroom or maybe even one song in the locker room of a YMCA. With Horn indisposed by other projects (like Patrick Davy’s Ghosts), JSB pieced together some of his newest songs with a few of his considerably older, touched-up tunes and sequenced an album (aided by the final mastering of fellow-Peach George Morris) to usher us into latest trip…a trip that’s likely to include a half-dozen or more musicians, including Horn, bassist Adam Padden, drummer Will Shattuck and more…
But for now, we have a prelude to said D’orchestra: Rainy-day pop ballads wrested from a vacillating heart – broken and re-glued together again – blending the minimalist acoustic contempo-neo-emo-folk furled aesthetic with zingy tinges of synth-pop and balanced rustlings of electric bass and full-drum kicks.
“It’s a step in the direction that I want to go with this project,” said JSB. “And, I’ve got another thing percolating also of course…”