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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Apple Orchard
Label: Independent release
What started out as a solo project for Manila, Phillipines native Ryan Marquez, later became a two-person project following the addition of bass-playing brother Dale Marquez. Thus, Apple Orchard was born.
The Marquez brothers, whose band name came from a 1993 song by pop band Bouquet, began recording dreamy and romantic songs that featured a jangly indie-pop sound. Songs began appearing on the compilations including 2001's Mutual Admiration Society. Soon, Apple Orchard caught the attention of Gregg Weiss of Secret Crush Records and this past fall he included their song "Summer's Near" on the excellent and diverse Stamp Collecting (For Beginners) compilation.
Now living in California, Apple Orchard has a limited-release seven-song independent album that caught this reviewer's attention.
The fetching and poppy "Loveletters in June" is my favorite song here. As Dale plays the Casiotone keyboard, Ryan quietly strums an electric guitar and dreamily sings, "You're wearing your favorite smile / This love affair has lasted for quite awhile."
Influences on Apple Orchard's new disc here include any number of artists on the defunct Sarah Records label (i.e. the Field Mice, the Sugargliders, Brighter, etc.) and better known artists like the Trash Can Sinatras.
That blissful Sarah sound is most evident to me on the heavenly disc closer "Midnight Stars and Kisses."
Ryan Marquez is reportedly working on a new twee-pop band called the Haircuts that can be expected to have a record out in the not-to-distant future. Ryan Marquez is a name to remember.
So, if you're looking for some memorable music that is good for the heart and soul, hunt high and low for "Here Comes Winter," the lovely independently-released debut album from a fine new duo called Apple Orchard. You won't be sorry.
For more information on Apple Orchard, go to www.appleorchardpop.tk.
Andrew West Griffin 2/8/2004