In the state of Idaho, in the panhandle, an abandoned farm church has become the howling ground for Orphan Factory. Born in the shadowed rural area, he came across this haunted yet soul-captivating place.
The organic subtext of the guitar and drums, overlaid with loops and vocal echoes, allows the music of Orphan Factory to feel pure. But not without an underlying eerie presence being vocalized. In the song “Stealing Horses” it’s as if the pages of his private collection of stories have started to come to life and have been whip-lashing around in that old farm church just to become a harmonious symphony. From the first verse, you are hit with the truth in what he is singing about, paired with no-bull-shit guitar playing.
The rural focus in “Bedside Memorial” struck me because I grew up in an isolated rural area of the Midwest. Some people take it as a death revelation, some see it as a life altering experience, but the fact is, some people simply drive away from those communities. It is beautiful to hear Orphan Factory express it in a different manner. Simple yet claustrophobic, aching.
In small towns you are raised with the belief that ‘this is the only way this will turn out.’ In “Lost and Found” the reality that hits you is about growing up. Seeing that road that you know leads out of this town to a place that you’ve dreamt about for years. But at the same you have no clue what is out there.
“Elegy for a Farmer,” an Americana/folk number that matches the rough edged vocals, as if you combined whiskey and a sweet longing for a place you once called home. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but when you hear a guitar strummed like Orphan Factory does it, an everlasting echo of an up all night fiasco will rise up inside of you, making you feel like the only human being that he is singing to.
The final song, “The Moon Has It Easy” is the full spectrum of sleepless nights, with repetitive strumming, sounds of an organ, a tunnel of lyrics wrapped around old fractured memories.
Orphan Factory talks about what each and every one of us doesn’t really have the guts to say, where we ultimately grew up is a part of us, even though we may have wanted to escape. You have to go back just once to come to terms with the fact that you were there for a reason.