lazyhome         reviews         hype         webboard                interviews


 

Orenda Fink: Invisible Ray of Love

 
story by tim mcmahan


 

 

Lazy-i: August 15, 2005

Orenda Fink
w/ The Faint, Ladyfinger
Aug. 15, 8 p.m.
Sokol Auditorium,
13th & Martha
Sold Out

Orenda Fink
w/The Faint, The Mariannes
Aug. 16, 8 p.m.
Sokol Auditorium
13th & Martha
$15










How big a role did The Faint's Todd Baechle -- now called Todd Fink -- play in splitting up folk-rock duo Azure Ray? Bigger than you think.

No, Todd Fink isn't Saddle Creek's version of Yoko. Nothing was done intentionally except maybe for falling in love with Orenda Fink -- one-half of Azure Ray and Todd's new wife. Now that she's happy and not heart-broken, Orenda no longer has the inspiration to write "love-lost songs," which she says Azure Ray is known for.

"When Maria and I started Azure Ray I did have a terribly broken heart and I was very sad. That's all I wanted to write about and I did for a couple years," she explains on the short film included on the promo version of Invisible Ones, her new solo CD. "I met this wonderful guy (Todd) … and I'm not sad anymore. I can't write those songs. I started thinking it's just time to do something different. I can't make this heartache up."

 

 

 

Fink said leaving Azure Ray freed her creatively in a number of ways. "I was able to make a lot of stylistic choices that I wasn't able to before," she further explained in an interview last week. Those choices included hiring Rozna Zila and Sandy M. Saint-Cyr to sing backing vocals on two Haitian-influenced tracks, "No Evolution" and "Animal." Both are members of Troupe Macandal, a Haitian dance and singing group that performs in New York.

"They were very comfortable with the melodies because it was something they were used to and made sense to them," Fink said. "Once they learned the parts, they had their eyes closed and were swaying to the music with these amazing voices."

Both songs were inspired by the Finks' trip to Haiti, where the couple experienced peasant village ceremonies and voodoo rituals. "It's all symbolism. It's very earthy, very beautiful," she said. "Some of the melodies I heard stuck in my head and I wrote lyrics to them."

The Haitian connection isn't the only thing that makes Fink's solo CD unique. Produced and engineered by Andy LeMaster (Now It's Overhead), Invisible Ones enlists a core of supporting players including Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), tribal drummer Scott Amendola, Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers) and Saddle Creek regulars Dan McCarthy (Mayday) and Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes). Not to mention husband Todd, who played on three tracks including the edgy rock single "Bloodline," which he co-produced.

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Once they learned the parts, they had their eyes closed and were swaying to the music with these amazing voices."


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
"Todd took a demo of the song and kind of tweaked it and redid it like how he'd want to do it. Then we came to a compromise"

 

 

"Todd took a demo of the song and kind of tweaked it and redid it like how he'd want to do it. Then we came to a compromise," Fink said. "He played everything on the track -- bass, guitar and keyboards."

Despite their collaboration in music and in life, Todd won't be joining Orenda as part of her touring band. "He likes to have time alone to write," she said. "As much as we like to tour together, it makes sense for him to be home by himself."

Todd, however, will help out on guitar when Orenda opens for The Faint Aug. 15 and 16 at Sokol Auditorium. They'll be joined by members of The Jazzholes, Stephanie Drootin (Consafos, The Good Life) and a female back-up singer. For Fink's U.S. tour in the fall, tour mates Neva Dinova will likely be her band, while Mayday will be her band when they tour Europe together in late November and early December.


Back to  huge.gif (2200 bytes)

Published in The Omaha Reader Aug. 10, 2005. Copyright 2005 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.