Origami Angel is the solo project of Ryland Heagy who started writing Quiet Hours last year, but he’s looking to progress forward with a drummer in the future. Nearly one year after starting, in January 2017, the seven songs that made up the EP were recorded in five days. Although Heagy attends school at York College of Pennsylvania, Origami Angel is based out of the greater Washington, D.C. area.
Quiet Hours opens with “Ride Our Bikes To School.” It is driven by a slowly throbbing beat, quietly chugging guitar and emotive singing. It’s a soft and sweet performance, but I was left wanting in places. There are moments at which the drums crash a little more passionately and the guitars lift in volume, as do the vocals, but they do seem to fall a little short of being quite as powerful as they could have been. This doesn’t mean that Origami Angel has to opt for the loud-quiet dynamic (that isn’t the only way to approach songwriting), but the track could have benefited from slightly more variety. That being said, the overall performance was tight, and the singing was great.
“SpaceX T-Shirt” opens with a clean electric guitar arpeggio and quickly transcends into a steadily pulsing beat. The emotive yet tender vocals return yet again to create a track reminiscent of popular indie artists such as Darwin Deez but with the dark emo stylistic tendencies of ‘00s artists. There’s a little more depth to the songwriting here than most of the artists from those genres could claim to have; the guitars are layered and fascinating. There’s slightly more of a build here which helped me to appreciate the song a little more than the opener.
“Osmosis” is driven by a Weezer-esque guitar rhythm (and singing, for that matter). Slowly crashing drums add some kick to the track. While I loved the gentle guitar pattern and added kick in the climax of the track, I didn’t feel that there was much about this third track that was new. Origami Angel has a very consistent sound, but it’s okay to pull away from predictability now and then to throw something diverse, new and exciting to the mix. I was left wanting that, yet again, but this track did have some instrumental moments and, as I said, Weezer influences that I really appreciated.
“Hey There” was a change of pace and one that I’d been waiting for. The verses boasted more of the same melodically-sweet vocal-guitar combos (and I do love this about this band, so don’t get me wrong there), but what was great about this track was that the chorus (or post-chorus) added something a little different to the mix. The guitars are distorted, crunchy and jagged. Power chords thump and thrust in synchronization with the beat and in a very indie-pop-rock-esque manner. It added some much-needed energy to the album.
“Mark My Words” continues with the energy from the previous track. With a chorus that claims “Mark my fucking words, I’ll be there / I hope that you will do the same.” There’s a bit more passion and energy here, but Origami Angel has retained the beautiful guitar arpeggios that they’ve boasted throughout the track. The song is very short, as are the others on the album, but it makes good use of the little running time it has. The vocals could have been a little more powerful, but the singing is still excellent; it’s in tune, sweet, and peaceful. There was just a lot of passion in the lyrics, and I felt that the sweetness could have transformed into something a little rawer in the chorus.
All in all, this is a great album. Musically, these guys are very talented, and the songs are very catchy; I think they just need to develop their sound a little further and bring some variety into the tracks. There’s some energy lurking in amongst these songs, but they just need the confidence to bring it forward a little more.
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