Acclaimed North Carolina-based band Mandolin Orange’s new album, Blindfaller, is now #3 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Album Chart and #7 on Heatseekers after its recent release on Yep Roc Records. The record premiered on The Wall Street Journal and you can read their full interview HERE. No Depression raves, “The voices of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz were seemingly destined to make music and beautiful sounds together in harmony…the music they make is nothing short of perfection.” Their single, “Hard Travelin’,” previously premiered via PopMatters, who called the track, “a delightful mix of Americana, bluegrass and country. The new release builds on the acclaim of the band’s breakthrough Yep Roc debut, This Side of Jordan (2013), and last year’s Such Jubilee (2015).
The band is in the midst of their extensive full-band fall tour having sold out dates in San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Madison and Spokane with future stops ahead in Nashville, Chicago, New York and more. See below for tour itinerary with support on select dates from Leif Vollebekk, Anna Tivel, Dead Horses and My Bubba.
While staying true to their Americana sound, the new album tackles modern day themes seen in our daily headlines. The North Carolina duo—comprised of Emily Frantz (fiddle/vocals) and Andrew Marlin (mandolin/vocals)— recorded the album in a one week break from touring at Rubber Room Studio in Chapel Hill, NC. “We wanted different vibes and different intuitions on these tracks,” Marlin says, “and I feel like we really captured that.” To bolster their message and sound on Blindfaller the duo added a full band, which features Clint Mullican on bass, Kyle Keegan on drums, Allyn Love on pedal steel, and previous collaborator, Josh Oliver, on guitar, keys, and vocals. Speaking to their recording process Frantz notes, “We talked about the feel of each song and pointed out loosely who was going to be taking solos, but it was mostly a lot of fresh takes, a lot of eye contact and a lot of nods and weird winks.”
Founded in 2009, Mandolin Orange has built a noteworthy catalog of recordings. The band’s 2013 release This Side of Jordan garnered critical acclaim such as NPR, who called the album “effortless and beautiful,” and American Songwriter, who said it was “honest music, shot through with coed harmonies, sweeping fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and the sort of unfakeable intimacy that bonds simpatico musicians like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.” Their 2015 follow-up, Such Jubilee, furthered their standing with inclusion in Rolling Stone’s “30 Great Country Albums of 2015 You Probably Didn’t Hear,” NPR’s Folk Alley’s “Best of 2015 Listener’s Poll,” and Amazon’s “Best of the Next 2015.” The record was #1 on Magnet’s “Top 10 Indie Roots Albums of 2015” and Paste called it “an album full of blissful moments.”
On the road, the band has built a dedicated following with extensive touring including appearances at Austin City Limits Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and Pickathon. In describing the duo Paste noted, “…the incredible musical bond between Marlin and Frantz…[is] an innate chemistry that’s been honed in the studio, strengthened by the road, and refined by time.”