Philadelphia alt-country band Friendship feel right at home on Chicago indie-pop label Orindal | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Philadelphia alt-country band Friendship feel right at home on Chicago indie-pop label Orindal 

click to enlarge Friendship


Jeff Berkowitz

Nearly a decade ago, Chicago singer-songwriter Owen Ashworth launched Orindal Records, partly as an outlet for the intimate, cozy indie-pop recordings he makes under the name Advance Base. He’s since transformed the label into a hub for musicians who take a similarly measured, contemplative approach, even when they’re exploring entirely different genres. Orindal’s latest Hideout showcase skews toward folk and rock, and features several of my label favorites, including Philadelphia band Friendship, whose lithe, unhurried folk-rock songs are sometimes so gentle they border on ambient. On October’s Dreamin’, the group lean into their country proclivities, with pedal-steel guitarist Pete Gill teasing out bashful notes that feel like they could stretch to infinity. Front man Dan Wriggins often sings in a barely inflected style not far from speech, which does little to prepare you for the powerful resonance he can summon at just the right moments—when he shifts pitch till his voice sounds like it might crack, it’s enough to set your spirit trembling. In his lyrics, Wriggins extracts meaning from the mundane details of his everyday life, loading his words with a deeply felt specificity that makes a perfect match for the band’s hushed playing. On “Clairvoyant” he sings about a confidant who seems to be able to see into his soul, using his dry delivery and impressionistic lyrics to give his account of their shared experiences the emotional heft of a memoir.   v

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