Sydney, Australia-based folk rock band Josh Orange released their debut project in 2006 but their  2021 break-out album Midnight Lights. Now they are back with their fifth album Birds For The Bayou, an 11-track project. Led by Frontman Gordon Burke, the project explores several themes ranging from love, soul searching, contenement and celebration of life.


“Birds For The Bayou” sets the tone with a dark ominous introduction. The track starts with distorted voices underneath white noise or what could be rain and slowly moves into a sombre piece with solemn guitar licks and rich melodic runs. The track explores life’s journey and the nostalgia one feels when something is missing.  Lines like “The only thing that is missing is the sound/Those voodoo waves when the delta sun goes down” give the audience a bit of world-building and help put things in perspective while the chorus raises the ante. This is followed by “What Have We Become” with its upbeat groove and rich guitar arrangement. Its overall vibe has an 80s aesthetic and evokes nostalgia for me. The layered vocal arrangement is beautiful and adds a soothing, almost hypnotic effect to the track and the introspective lyrics are heartwarming as well.


“Wide Awake” is the standard love-themed rock jam that explores the emotions of a man drowned in blossoming love and basking in the warm embrace of that special someone while “No Place Like Home” ventures into melancholy and the longing of being in that place called home. The song has a warm and blissful vibe that draws one in and the soft vocal tones add that extra emotional oomph into the mix. “Another Lost Soul” dives into existential topics ranging from mortality, self-awareness, lack of purpose and the ongoing inner crisis most humans face as they weave through the madness of the world. The song is mellow and continues in the same vein as the previous tune albeit with a more introspective theme. “Devil At The Backdoor” sounds like the classic escapism piece that we all love. I dig the mid-tempo groove, bright guitar tones and engaging storytelling that paints a picture of sadness and tension between a man stuck between a rock and a hard place.


The project closes out with “Rolling Over in The Dark” and “I Feel Alive-Kick It”, both tracks continue to showcase the band’s knack for penning heartfelt stories with relatable lyrics and enticing melodies. The former touches on man’s fallible nature and inner struggles while the latter turns up the celebration which ends the project on a bright note. Other interesting tracks include the reflective “Waiting To Fall-Better Man”, the lovelorn “Candy Girl” and the emotional burdens of “Easy On Me”. Overall, Birds For The Bayou takes listeners on a rollercoaster of emotions which ultimately ends on a right note.




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