I first heard Half an Orange’s song, “Scared,” a few years ago and liked it a lot. I could never get into the rest of the band’s discography, though. I’d try again whenever “Scared” came up on a Spotify playlist, but nothing ever stuck. However, after they released the Mostly We Grow Old Trilogy that consolidated many of their EPs and singles, I figured I’d give them one last chance. And boy howdy, it all finally clicked. The lyrics in almost every song pine over the nostalgic days of video games and childhood friends. It’s hit me pretty hard, since—as someone nearing 40—I’m constantly looking back on better days myself. I don’t know how old the Half an Orange guys are. I assume they’re younger than me, because Halo is mentioned in the song “Time Travel Kool Aid.” But the sentiment is still painfully relatable.
I know it’s easy to score points with nostalgia these days, though, and the album has more to offer than just that. It’s generally very catchy electropop. I think what originally turned me off was the sometimes overly auto-tuned vocals. There’s so much more going on in each song, though, once you get past that. I can even hear hints of The Knocks and ODESZA at times, which is absolutely a compliment. It’s actually kind of hard to pick a favorite song. “Scared” would have been an obvious choice, but I’ve grown just as fond of “Old Friends,” “Sit Like a Flamingo”, and “Given Up.” The only weak link here is the last song, “End of the Moon.” It’s on the slower side and doesn’t do anything interesting, unlike an earlier song, “Buzz Lightyear,” that’s equally slow but offsets this with some great instrumental moments. “Buzz Lightyear” pretty much encompasses my overall thoughts: come for the lyrics but stay for the beats.
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