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Tangerine Sky

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Album Review

As the title track of Blackbird Blackbird's second LP Tangerine Sky opens, a warm polyphony of synths bounce radiantly to the beat of a driving kick drum presenting what seems to be a sort of instrumental prelude to the rest of the album. Suddenly, two and half minutes in, the dreamy vocals of Mikey Maramag appear all distant and blissed-out like a 3 O'clock wine buzz. For a guy who cut his teeth as the drummer for a hardcore band (Murder Practice), Maramag's solo work as Blackbird Blackbird is about as sunny as it gets, having more in common with the chillwave warmth of Washed Out or the more tranquil sides of Ulrich Schnauss. While an album like this is enjoyable enough for its peaceful, mood-setting aesthetic, Tangerine Sky is also fortunate enough to contain some legitimate songwriting. Distressed lo-fi textures, Casio tones, and clever sequencing along with live guitars, bass, and drums make up the core of the album's sound bed which wraps around some neatly melodic dream pop tunes like "Love Unlimited," "Darlin Dear," and "Rare Candy." Some of the tweaked samples recall a gentler, hazed-out Passion Pit and like many artists working in that sonic bailiwick, the throbbing compression on a few of the tracks can become a bit trying. Still, it's a stylistic choice that hardly deters from the songs, which coast along easily on a wave of homemade electro charm and Maramag's sweet, late afternoon harmonies. Though beguiling in any climate, Tangerine Sky could easily become a soundtrack to the summer months.

Customer Reviews

AWESOME!

This is his best album yet, love it!

best BB album yet

worth buying--a great summer soundtrack. Tangerine Sky is diverse and playful electronic album that is ripe with organic instrumentation, great songwriting & smooth production, he's definitely evolved his sound since Summer Heart, with the vocals coming to the forefront

The first REAL album

I've been listening to Blackbird Blackbird for quite some time (since 2011, I think) and I loved the Summer Heart album. The Summer Heart album was very experimental because most of the tunes were incredibly unique, but only between 1-3 minutes in length. Everything was short and sweet and generally without real lyrics that could be understood.

Halo was a big step, but still very experimental at times. Boracay Planet had one of the most beautiful songs (It's A War) but lacked much else.

However, along comes Tangerine Sky. This is the first "traditional album" that Blackbird Blackbird has done. It is 12 tracks, all of which ranging from 3-5 minutes in length, most of them have comprehensible lyrics, and everything is structured. While I do miss the "originality" that Summer Heart had, this album still manages to sound unique, even though strays into some familiar artists (such as Tycho and Disasterpiece). What makes this album great it that the first 10 seconds of every song are a trick. You can never guess how these songs are going to turn out.

A great new album from Blackbird Blackbird. While I would like to hear some more "experimental" work from Blackbird, this is still an excellent album that is very addicting (Darlin Dear, Rare Candy, Tangerine Sky, Love Unlimited, and Feel It In My Bones are my favorites)

Biography

Formed: 2010 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '10s

Blackbird Blackbird is the recording project of San Francisco-based electronic musician Mikey Maramag. His warm, textural synth pop and distant, dreamy vocals recall acts like Four Tet and Washed Out, though Maramag's roots are actually in metal and hardcore. Originally hailing from Hawaii, he relocated to Northern California and began his career as the drummer for Bay Area hardcore band Murder Practice. He left the band in 2009 to attend the University of California in Santa Cruz where he took an...
Full Bio
Tangerine Sky, Blackbird Blackbird
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