My absolute love of the music of the group October Project remains undiminished, despite the fact that their second (and last) commercially produced CD was released 15 years ago. If you don’t know their work (past, present, or future), please allow me to introduce you to something very special.
Here are two tracks from their self-titled first album. The first is called “Always,” and it truly is an amazing vocal/pop-choral production. Be sure to listen all the way to the end, to hear the layering and remarkable interweaving of their voices:
Perhaps the most universally loved of their songs is “Return to Me,” a uniquely plaintive, evocative little gem. Whenever I would give my Chinese friends October Project CDs as gifts, inevitably they would report back that this song was their favorite:
Return to Me
For the true fan, there was a television mini-documentary done about the original band while they were on the road supporting their second album. You can watch it online at these links: Part One and Part Two.
All October Project songs are written by members Julie Flanders (lyrics) and Emil Adler (music), and the distinctive October Project “sound” was molded around these musical gems and the distinctive voice of the group’s lead singer, Mary Fahl. After their 2 albums on the Epic label in the mid to late ’90s, Fahl left the band and it (pardon the pun) disbanded. After some years, Adler and Flanders reconstituted OP, and the band has had to “re-define their sound” (at least a couple of times now) in the last decade.
They are currently working on a new album called Uncovered, and as a teaser and for marketing purposes, they have shared “pared down” arrangements of a few of the songs that will be on it – what they call “PREreleases of stripped-down, piano/vocal demos.” They have put two of these pre-arrangements online with lyrics, and I wanted to share them here.
I’m very eager to hear the ultimately more “fleshed out,” orchestrated version of the song “Angels in the Garden” once they have it all put together – but this unplugged version is gentle, sweet, poetic, and puts me in mind of a very special friend, so I hope they don’t lose its simple innocence in the final version. Anyway, let me share it with you:
Angels in the Garden
The other song they’ve put online is titled “See With Different Eyes.” When you listen to it and follow the lyrics, you’ll see that Julie Flanders’ poetry, which has elevated every October Project song ever released, is still arresting and evocative. Also, there is slightly more complex accompaniment in this release, than in the first song:
See With Different Eyes