The self-titled release by Orcas has a dark sound with their lo-fi, abstract and ambient sound. Although interesting, the duo aren’t particularly exciting. In fact, their constant droning and minimalistic beats are tiresome to listen to and are easy to lose interest in. What does stand out about Orcas is some of the subtle effects used in their music. “Pallor Cedes,” which is the opening track, has some static in the background and it’s the only piece that really caught my attention. Both “Carrion” and “A Subtle Escape” factor into the small group of interesting songs on the release. Both cuts have an oceanic vibe to them, but approach it in different ways. “Carrion” has a bigger sound and is both key and bass heavy, whereas “A Subtle Escape” is very serene, harmonized and peaceful. Despite not being written by the band, “Until Then” easily slipped me into a trance with the broken memory box melody. With what sounds like rain on a window, the finale, “High Fences,” certainly helps to redeem Orcas. The purely instrumental track helps to alleviate some of the harshness of the previous numbers and closes the disc out on a refreshing note.
The lullaby qualities of Orcas makes it a great release to fall asleep to or even unwind and relax to, but you’re going to need to be in that mood. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, this isn’t the disc for you.