The Mild Orange experience, with a side of Confusion
August 26, 2018
By Sam Tettersfield
Dunedin indie rockers Mild Orange played a packed show imbued with warm, passionate, lovely fuzz, occasionally spiked with heavier moods, at central city music venue Meow.
Mild Orange are getting notoriety after Ukrainian YouTuber Alona Chemerys posted two tracks from debut album Foreplay on her channel. She posted Some Feeling and Mysight on April 22 this year, four days after they were released by the band.
Some Feeling, the fourth track on Foreplay, had over 2.6 million plays on August 25, 2018. Mysight had nearly 1.2 on that date.
The show last Thursday, was, in singer Josh Mehrtens words, “celebrating about a year of being together”.
Meow, and its outdoor smoking area, were both packed for the whole night, and all of the quirky venue was immersed in the fuzzy soundscape. The crowd were well behaved, jamming along to the grooves without incident.
A DJ was scheduled to play after Mild Orange, but that was cancelled after a noise complaint.
Foreplay was recorded in Mild Orange’s Dunedin practice room and produced and mixed by Mehrtens.
The band will play the Rhythm and Alps festival this New Year and it hopes to move overseas next year and release a follow-up album.
Mehrtens said new music was “always on the way. We do everything in house so we can just record whenever.”
Mehrtens said the band was worried about drawing crowds playing a Thursday in Wellington, but that the night proved them wrong. “A lot of our friends have said that they had to go to work in the morning, so they couldn’t come, so it’s really amazing.
“I think there’s about 400 people here. It’s amazing that everyone’s come out to see us.”
Mehrtens said the show covered the full range of Mild Oranges brand of “melting melodies”.
“We like to have powerful moments, sometimes pensive, so that there’s a contrast, and at the end, you’re leaving really having felt the Mild Orange experience. We have a lust for smooth sounds.”
The band first saw opening act Same Name Confusion at a show at underground Dunedin music venue Re:Fuel in 2017. Mehtens said he had been a fan since then. “They bring a great energy live, their presence is insane.
“[Singer] Luke [Courtney] gets everyone going, and the rest of the band – it just works, it’s awesome.”
Newly Wellington-based Same Name Confusion are about to release their first music in almost a year, with single ‘My Plastic Baby’ coming out on Spotify on Tuesday, September 4.
Courtney describes the track as “romantic, alternative dance pop,” and said the fusion of genres was a sound they had been perfecting, with new members, for the last year.
“We’ve spent a lot of time away trying to figure out what kind of music we want to make and we’ve found out what that is, and now we’re getting the opportunity to show people,” he said.
The song was about the idea of having a plastic baby, as opposed to a real one. “Having a real baby is pointless when you could just buy a plastic one off the shelf, whenever you want.
“You don’t have to feed it. You don’t have to clean it. You don’t have to worry about keeping it alive. No responsibility, but all the perks. And it never grows up!
“Overpopulation is becoming an issue, isn’t it,” he said.
The song was based off an encounter Courtney had while working at a supermarket. “I really saw one of these people. Or two of these people. They didn’t have any shoes.
“You can probably imagine what they looked like. What’s the most [politically correct] way to say this? They looked like they had one outfit for the whole week, and they didn’t have a shower in their house. And I tried to get inside their mind, and produce the song.”
Same Name Confusion will release an EP of romantic alternative dance pop in the next few months.