“I went walking in the spring,” Hamilton’s Scott Orr sings presciently on his sixth album, Everything. It’s optimistic imagery for an early-March release, but it’s not entirely off base for a collection that seems to be dabbling with its own cautious transition.
From its opening, searching number, “By the Way,” Orr’s latest offering starts off with an ambient, trailing search—exuding a far more driven lyrical side to contrast neatly with the contemplative eponymous chorus. The swaying number picks up eventually, but still holds back on the urge to launch itself fully into things.
“I’ll Do Anything” feels equally equivocating, the cool, confident tone of the chorus tempered by the dreamy laissez-faire rhythm. And so Everything rises and falls, tentatively stepping forward, lunging into stirring musical crescendos and creeping back as another track weaves its way through.
If you’re sensing a pattern—perhaps because you’re gazing out your window as March plays the same game—you’ll recognize Orr’s habit of setting a theme for each of his albums. There’s a dreamy, escapist feel to the tracks, a half-imagined pursuit and a languid back-and-forth that feels entirely comfortable with the slow burn of the innocently flirtatious “Still Waiting.” Paired with “Soulmating” and the cries of “Dada,” as the song fades, comfort just might be what Orr’s getting at—the gentle perks of day to day lifted by more extraordinary moments and the reassuring knowledge that some things are already decided.
Even as “Kids” ushers in a bouncing move towards a more full-bodied “The Devil,” there’s none of the flurry that comes with this kind of build. It’s easy, mellow at its core and Orr remains deeply untroubled. “And I love you, like I’m s’pose to/And every minute that’s passing by, I’m trying to try to be good,” he sings over and over with certitude.
While Everything isn’t entirely stripped of worry, the usual rush of spring is held at bay as Orr moves into closer “Always Everything.” The final, peaceful notes acknowledging that sometimes there’s no need to jump into the season and make the most of it. Realizing that sometimes you’ve already got what you need, bundled in at home with you.
Top Tracks: “Kids”; “Try to Be Good”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)