Marshmallow Pop Orchestra mysteriously popped into our inbox this week and I was immediately intrigued. Mostly because the music is interesting but also a little because their unusual collection of listed influences (the Pixies, Cyndi Lauper, T. Rex, and Bright Eyes, among others) is all stuff I like. But then I read their email more carefully and realized that the bonus tracks they’re offering include a “Pittsburgh Steelers fight song”. OH, SNAP! These guys are from my (and aDawgg’s) hometown! (Further evidence: another bonus track called “Surfin’ the Monongahela River”, one of Pittsburgh’s famous three.)
I’m going to go ahead and assume that Marshmallow Pop Orchestra fits our New Band Day rules because there’s no information about them. Anywhere. I’ve got no story, no background, no band member names to give you all. (Marshmallow Pop Orchestra, is that you? Come out of hiding and tell us more about yourselves!) Their email / press release (also the only information on their website) only says that this album, Songs To Fly Away To, was “written, recorded, and mixed very quickly between March 2007 to March 2009″ and that it seems to have been a fairly spontaneous affair: “Many musical parts and lyrics were written and recorded while the zip disks were running.” Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough to pique my curiosity, their own description of themselves is “Department Store Orchestral Music for 30 year olds”. Excellent.
I’ll admit that I haven’t listened to the whole of Songs To Fly Away To, but I’m excited to do so. What I’ve heard so far is a combination of early 60s surf music, Bruce Springsteen, 80s bubblegum pop, new wave, and yes indeed, there’s a little muzak in there.Songs To Fly Away To does kind of feel like an extended demo but the roughness isn’t distracting, it suits their music very well. It’s a bit of a fuzzy mess but in a good way.
You can hear more at MarshmallowSpace but, really, why bother when you could just go ahead and download the whole album – free – plus all the glorious extras (cover art and all) over at their blog/website?