Orca Orca may sound like a full band, but in reality, the indie dream-pop sounds that you’ll hear on the band’s debut “Make Live” come from just one man: Boston’s Jim Hewitt. In two years, 23-year-old Hewitt has generated some buzz around his city, producing indie dream-pop from the comfort of his Allston apartment.
Although Hewitt released a few demos (“Imago Demos“) under the name Young Minds, (he changed the band’s name because there were too many bands with Young in the name) the self-released “Make Live” is the first professional offering from the young Bostonian.
Highlights of the six-song EP are the lead track “Say So”, a cool, punchy number that showcases Hewitt’s lo-fi surf guitar skills and love for back-beat drums. “Holding On” is also especially notable, as are Hewitt’s vocal lines throughout – simple and catchy.
“It’s all bullshit anyway, cuz you’re so full of it anyway,” he dreamily sings over a synthetic drum beat and clean guitar lines on the track. But it’s not really about attaining pop perfection for Hewitt.
“For the most part, the recording process is really quick and each take is done in one or two takes,” he says. “There’s a handful of times where I’ve kept in some minor mistakes on the recordings. I kind of feel like there’s a tiny bit of genuineness that gets taken away each time you re-do a vocal part or a guitar part or something so I try and capture the intial feeling that’s there in the first takes.”
If you’re into haunted pop melodies and hipster cool, Orca Orca is your man, as demonstrated on tracks like the very short and slightly synthy “Homes” and album closer “Designated Driver”.
Orca Orca provides a musical soundtrack that recalls late nights, moving into early mornings, driving around the city looking for something that you can’t remember.
Now that “Make Live” is finally out, Hewitt has upped his live show, adding a drummer, bassist and additional guitarist to flesh out the sound he captured on tape.
“The live show is pretty different than from what you hear on record,” Hewitt says. “I started Orca Orca as a project to release my solo material but soon realized that playing shows by myself with a guitar and a drum machine was not really the greatest way to represent the songs in a live setting.”
Now, he says, Orca Orca plays as a four-piece with Hewitt’s friends Justin and Darin on bass and guitar, and cousin Tom on drums.
“It’s been a lot of fun re-imagining the songs with them over the past few months,” he says.
You can download ”Say So” below, or even buy a newly released limited edition, hand- painted cassette tape from the man himself via his Bandcamp.