Join the Lost & Lonesome email list:

Mid-State Orange "Odds" CD $18 (L&L047) Add To Basket.


One thing’s for certain — Odds, the eagerly awaited debut long-player from Louis Richter and gang ain’t no one-dimensional one-trick pony heading down a one-way street on a one-wheeled bike. In kicking the show off with some driving cosmic krautrock, followed up with something more akin to the most-perfect-ever pop song, Mid-State Orange make it fairly clear their tastes — much like their skills — are considerably vast. Halfway into the album, while drifting into some subdued string-soaked acoustic balladry, the firm grasp on melody and song remains constant. As Odds progresses, guitars at the fore, moving into some muscular riffin’ terrain, it’s become much like the proverbial chicken running around, sans head, only with catchier songs, a bubbly rhythm section, a lot more organ, and a beguiling lead singer. (Originally released in Australia by Candle Records in 2006.)

1) Introduction to City Lights
2) Best Intentions
3) The Casualties of Casual Ties
4) Million Years
5) Cracks (Evolutionary Psychology 101)
6) Rivers
7) Second In A Two Horse Race
8) 7:30
9) Dying In Good Society
10) Pathways

"There's nothing better than a pop album (bright, catchy, melodic) that also has heft to it, and surprise. Odds keeps growing before your ears, seeming more complex, with each track more like unending layers of song than something to be quickly consumed and discarded. Here the Australian group Mid-State Orange is playing textured pop that may seem innocuous at first, but gains in stature as you listen. It comes from the array of instruments, from the stylistic changes, but most of all from the overall songwriting and musicianship. Odds begins with a lounge-y, Kraut-rock-ish instrumental jam before gliding into a sprightly pop/rock anthem, Lucien Richter singing firmly but softly about life's ups and downs, about trying to live with the "Best Intentions." Odds contains a bunch of smart, tightly composed songs about love and the lack of it; guitar-based pop songs with strings and synths and other balancing/competing elements; hints of bossa nova, of rhythmic Neu!-like jams, of rock explosions. These stylistic surprises and shadings add mystery and dynamic force to songs that are already potent considerations of life, stories of people and their problems. The hooks here carry a lot of feeling – listen to Richter's emotive singing on the standout string-laden ballad "Rivers" – but so does the music itself. Listen for the surprising moments where the rock backdrop explodes to the front, as on the charged "Second in a Two-Horse Race". It explodes without annihilating the song itself. Overall Mid-State Orange takes a muscular approach to sensitive-pop music. Odds showcases both wide reach and the courage to go in whatever direction seems right at the time."

"Mid-State Orange have kept us hanging for their album proper since last year’s outstanding (Lost & Lonesome For A) Million Years, a compilation built from EPs and their “lost” debut full length. That record pushed expectations unusually high, with intelligent indie-pop of a kind usually found only through overseas mail order catalogues (see Camera Obscura, Saturday Looks Good To Me). Odds meets the challenge around half of the time and surpasses it once or twice. ‘Best Intentions’ is as frantic and enjoyable as twee pop comes while ‘The Casualties Of Casual Ties’, originally part of Low Transit Industries’ Singles Club, remains nothing short of wonderful. Slowing down a little in comparison, the album’s second half requires more patience with one or two overblown cuts. Odds isn’t quite a masterpiece, but it’s still essential listening for anyone who thinks wearing a stripy scarf to a rock gig is a good idea." Mess & Noise