Lagniappe (la ·gniappe) noun ‘lan-ˌyap,’ — 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.
Orions Belte executed one of the more ambitious and aesthetically pleasing livestream projects of 2020. Affectionately named The Scenic Route, the Norwegian trio used their country’s unparalleled natural environment for a series of five “tour stops,” playing live for the trees, mountains, and a handful of lucky locals. A fun detour, to be sure, but it was quickly back to the studio for completion of their new long player, Villa Amorini, released last week. Amorini has Orions’ familiar graceful and poignant structural pace, with noticeably more vocals this time around than their 2018 debut, Mint.
Amid finishing Amorini, they carved out time to record two tracks for AD’s Lagniappe Sessions, featured here. From the lush, exciting outskirts of “left field” this series likes to summon, the band plucked for us Mac Miller’s “2009” and Danzig’s “Am I Demon.” Worthy and original results, to be sure. Their words on the how and why, below.
Orions Belte :: 2009 (Mac Miller)
Swimming is probably the album I listened to the most from the fall 2018 to 2020. Party, running, and food-making soundtrack. So versatile with great songs, great lyrics and on point-production and performances on every single track. When I first heard the intro to 2009, I had to stop the track and listen to it again and again. Beautiful string arrangements by Aja Grant got me hooked. Such a beautiful piece of music to try to enhance and turn into a groovy chord driven loop. With lines like “I was yea high and muddy/Looking for what was looking for me” leading into the perfect hook, and Jon Brion on vibraphone. Well, we just had to make a version of this. Honoring and remembering a truly great artist.
Orions Belte :: Am I Demon (Danzig)
Glenn Danzig was friends with Roy Orbison. Danzig was one of the first albums on Def American records. It’s satanic. We’ve talked about this song since last summer. We had some raspberry sour beer outside a hostel looking out over Vangsvatnet (a beautiful lake in Norway where they primarily have been fishing for char), listening to Danzig. We thought it would be a great thing to do a cover of “Am I Demon”, paying homage to the crooner of heavy metal with some slide guitar, flutes and a nice shuffle beat.