Sydney band Josh Orange has just released Little Miss America, from their forthcoming album Midnight Lights due out in early 2021.
Josh Orange, whose members are Gordon Burke (vocals/acoustic/keys), Andrew Wass (guitars/vocals), Blaine Munnings (bass guitar), Alex Miller (drums) and Shane McLaughlin (guitars) has released three albums, Songs for theJourney, Big Day Tomorrow and Eyes Wide Open and has also won wide acclaim including winning the rock category prize in 2015’s The Great American Song Contest. And speaking of the great American song, Little Miss America is no doubt influenced by Americana, yet it’s perhaps the aesthetic of dramatic flair invoked in this new tune that best abides by the regulations of that form.
The instrumentation requisites are met; the mellow, dutifully chorused guitar, the roomy drums and the organ filling out the landscape with its down home texture, yet there is a marked point of difference here and most of that is due to the vocal, and more specifically the singer’s voice. It’s somewhere between Mark Knopfler and Jakob Dylan, that is, the tonal qualities veer more towards Jacob and the phrasing tending to remind one of Mark.
Though it’s always difficult to ascertain the level or kind of mimicry at play here: does one adopt the phrasing of another well-established vocalist because one merely happened to be born with a similar sounding voice or do both elements converge in a not so conscience melding but a fortuitous (or not) one? Though that is not to say it’s a distraction from this record; it’s a fine record, with a considered lyric and yes, quite a convincing vocal at the helm. When one focuses on the Knopfler tones one can almost hear a Dire Straits tune too, one that’s been slightly bent to fit into more of that Americana idiom, and then after one realises this, one wonders why Dire Straits hasn’t been as influential as they have.
There’s a strange twist in all this too of course, as Knopfler, no doubt regarded Dylan, that is Bob, as an influence, so in a sense perhaps it is to him, this giant that Little Miss America owes a little of its strength? But aside from that, it has plenty of its own fortitude, a rewarding array of appeasing elements, regardless of inspiration or influence.
LISTEN TO JOSH ORANGE HERE:
NEED A RADIO PLUGGER?