Orca Life // Modern Living [Pre-order]

You wouldn’t believe us if we told you how long this release has been gestating. Orca Life is the recording project of Virginia native Chris Roberts, and he has been nothing but patient with the many roadblocks that have been put in the way of this release.

Modern Living marks a change of pace for Orca Life and is sure to stimulate welcoming ears. If you’re not aware, Chris also runs the cassette label Otherworldly Mystics so we are not only thrilled to be releasing this album on Chill Mega Chill, but we’re also excited to get a little bit of cross-pollination going on between our two labels.

As of now you can get Modern Living from digital retailers (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) and then the cassettes will follow suit next Friday (10/11). Each smokey-tinged cassette will come with an 8x11 poster hand-numbered by Chris himself, so act fast! When they’re gone, they’re gone!

Side A:

1. Voices 04:12 
2. Aquatic 04:27 
3. Vacation 03:41 
4. Bells 02:10

Side B:

5. Time 04:34 
6. Connecting 02:55 
7. Spells 03:32 
8. Swim 04:04

An open letter to Bjork, who is unlikely to respond

Dearest Björk,

Though it is unlikely that you will see this letter, I am writing it in an attempt to briefly catch your attention and to also tell the story of an average man who has spent his life adoring your music, fascinated by your impossibly interesting persona, and assertively correcting those who mispronounce your name. That being said, “Hey, Björk! Sorry your set got cut short last night at P4k. If you’re ever in Texas and want to grab some coffee hit me up!” Ahem.

At any rate, I wasn’t actually at Pitchfork Festival last night and I’m sort of glad I wasn’t, in hindsight. Sure, it looked like a pretty solid lineup and who doesn’t love a good festival? I had briefly entertained the idea of snagging a last minute $450 dollar plane ticket, sleeping on someone’s floor, and trying to finagle my way in by virtue of a friend’s guest list opening but opted out because, well, I work in a library and that kind of money is cRaZyToWN. I suppose it’s fortunate that I did not go because I can all but guarantee there would have been a sloppy, cringe-inducing display of public weeping at the announcement that your headlining set would be cut short due to unforeseen inclement weather. And when I say public weeping, it would have been so bad that I very well could have been the guy that BrooklynVegan took a picture of to illustrate just how distraught the hardest-core fans were when hearing the news. When I started seeing updates on Facebook last night about the set being shortened, I closed that browser tab and tried to work through my feelings of envy towards those who were there. This morning, however, there was even more information floating around the ether of social media including but not limited to a picture of your intended set list and quotes from disappointed yet optimistic attendees trying to make lemonade out of a Mother Nature related lemon storm. I couldn’t hold my emotions in any longer so I set out (at the encouragement of my friend, Henning) to write this largely pointless open letter.

Long ago in a land sort of far away (let’s call it rural Missouri, circa 1993), I spent my summer vacation being a lazy 9-year-old only prying myself away from MTV music videos to mow lawns while saving to buy my first guitar. As an aside, remember when MTV played music videos? Anyway, I spent hours, days, weeks even just staring at the TV and listening to the music videos being fed to me and being exposed to all of the great (and not so great) music of the early 90s. One fateful afternoon as I was avoiding any form of outdoor chore-related responsibilities, I heard the intro to “Human Behaviour” and watched the video completely mystified by your name (and it’s umlaut) and the odd, exciting sounds of the song. After that video was over, I frantically ran to my mom and asked her to give me a quick lesson in how to use the VCR to record live TV. If you’re into guessing the plotlines in memoires, you probably already guessed that I sat next to the VCR, glued to MTV, small thumb held lightly on the REC button waiting for that video to come back so that I could tape over my mom’s One Life to Live/General Hospital soap opera cassette and keep a copy of “Human Behaviour” for on-demand viewing. This moment also serves as a foreshadowing preface to another short story titled, “The Day I Learned about How Video Cassettes Sometimes Arbitrarily Get Eaten by VCRs.”

I spent the next two years generally obsessed with the idea of Björk and “Debut”. I rode my clunky mountain bike around town with a goliath early-era Walkman and a bent pair of metal banded headphones and spoke highly of you to countless rural folk who neither understood nor cared about what I was selling.

In related yet tangential-sounding plot development, in 1995 I joined our junior high football team in an effort to fit in with the cool guys and largely to please my father. Unfortunately for the intentions behind that mission, I found out a few weeks into the summer training regimen that you would be releasing “Post” on a fateful Tuesday in the middle of a week full of two-a-day’s and that I would be unable to purchase said album until at least the following weekend. I spent an anxiety-ridden Saturday afternoon crafting a game plan for how to handle this sticky wicket and ultimately I decided that my only real choice was to quit football altogether to ensure that I had “Post” moments after the record store opened and I’d need to notify not only my clearly disappointed father but also my football coach so that he would not expect me at the coming practices. My coach received what was likely the weirdest Sunday afternoon phone call from a 12-year-old about an Icelandic pop star he’s ever experienced. My dad, however, experienced the first of many confusing and my-son-is-probably-gay moments that would characterize my teenage years. I quit football, stood outside that record store by myself (it was a small town and I think I was the only person that actually knew who you were) and bought that album a few minutes after the door opened. My life would never be the same.

Though my life thereafter is essentially one giant embarrassing string of events composed of cringe-y yet possibly endearing moments of intense awkwardness, the subject at hand is my respect and adoration for Björk as a musician, a person, and a mystical Icelandic fairy of wonder, giggles, excitement, and unbridled joy. If you were to ask me how I feel today, I could wear a hipster persona and talk about how I invested in the Björk movement on the ground floor in 1993. I could go super obscure and talk about your album from 1977 that even the most OG fans might not even know about. Or I could talk about how one of the few things in my adult life that I truly regret is that I have yet to see you perform life. What I usually I talk about is how when I finally marry my partner of 8 years, I plan on having an all-star, celebrity lined “bridal party” where you are my glowing matron-of-honor flanked by Robyn, Kim Deal, and Juliette Lewis and the ceremony will be officiated by Ms. Stevie Nicks. Antony Hegarty will be providing emotional and moving musical accompaniment (*NOTE* none of these are confirmed, yet, but I’m hopeful). My partner’s side of the party will likely be close friends and family members but that is also yet-to-be-confirmed.

In short, I adore you Björk and I mean that in the least “whoa let’s get this guy on a list” way possible. Instead, you’ve inspired me as a musician, you’ve shown me it’s totally ok to be myself even if everyone else is doing things a different way, and you’ve somehow kept me as excited about you and your art 20 years after I discovered you on a partially degaussed CRT TV in the basement of my parents’ rural home. If you’re out there somewhere in the anonymous sea of the internet and you stumble upon this, I hope you get a chuckle out of it at the very least. One day I’ll get a chance to sit back in some giant performance hall and see you in your element and it will be a transcendental experience for me. Until then, I’ll continue to spend my Saturday mornings drinking coffee and listening to your records and living my life as I know it.

Thank you for what you do and for the music you create. From one musician to another, your art is a precious and wonderful thing and the world is better with you in it.

Warm regards,


TL;DR – I’m way into Björk



I challenge you to listen to this song and not smile. Or better yet, not laugh at how great it makes you feel. bo-en have released the song of the summer with their very dreampop anthem called “Miss You.” Reminiscences of Super Mario Bros and other very simple Nintendo-esque, but brilliantly used samples give it a nostalgic feel, but at the same time carry a futuristic vibe that delivers hope for the next wave of music. Brilliantly switching between English and Japanese, lyrics of falling in and out of love are caught in between bird chirps and drops of rain. Stream the song above and give it some love.

so gooooooood

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