Michael van Veen is a one-man project from the Netherlands and makes music under the moniker Left Handed Orchestra. He recently wrapped up a fantastic five-song EP entitled You Were Right. The thought was to make it sound as simple and organic as possible. In order to achieve this he didn't use any virtual instruments or plug-ins for that matter and the results are splendid. The songs are filled with rich textures and sounds from a variety of instruments.
Van Veen is an exceptional songwriter who is able to create accessible songs while utilizing an experimental canvas to play in. Each one of the five songs puts different instruments in the forefront, which creates a good amount of variation between songs.
You Were Right starts with the gypsy sounding "Up In A Tree," which has the best string work on the album. Percussion surrounds the senses as it forms a symbiotic relationship with the guitars to create a bed of textures to be sung over. It all comes together when the vocal harmonies are introduced to the song.
“Illustrated Machinery” is the highlight of the album and reminded me of one of my favorite bands Sunset Rubdown. He even sounds similar to Spencer Krug on this song. The song has an unsettlingly vibe that is created through what sounds like organs and radio transmissions. Who needs computers anyways?
“Cardboard Caravan” has if I'm not mistaken some mean cowbells while “Soapbox Derby” is a lush song with some more exceptional string work. The album closes with a short but great song called “Obsolete.” This song without a doubt had the best vocal line that segues into a dreamlike soundscape filled with rich instrumentation such as horns.
Left Handed Orchestra is very well done and left me hungry for a full length. I hope to hear more from this talent.
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