When the debut EP from New Jersey’s Ortolan first arrived in our Brooklyn mailbox, skepticism abounded. Fair or not, there seems to be a grain of salt specifically reserved for predominately teenage acts (Zach Condon and his menagerie of horns aside).
Surprisingly, the EP is mostly comestible. Dare we say decent? It’s certainly flowery. And they do reference mermaids on their MySpace. Still, the nerdishness inherent in the band’s youth-infused idiosyncrasies make the record at the very least earnest– almost nostalgic in that iconoclastic high-school type sort of way. Imagine Joanna Newsom if she was ten years younger and had a proclivity for Shangri-Las styled 60’s pop.
By Daniel Crown