Tag Archives: Orkinpod

BandCampWes: Orkinpod Abandons Argus Comics, Continues Music Career

BJ Lillis ’12 says this is his break-up album. The break-up is between him and Wesleyan.

Fans of the Argus’ tragically defunct comics section (guys, remember “Feet People”?) and surreal Brian Wilson-obsessed psych-pop alike should be thrilled to learn that Orkinpods, the formerly anonymous bedroom pop project of comics editor emeritus B. J. Lillis ’12, has a new album online for the new year. It’s called The Loudest Sound, and it’s also Orkinpod’s finest, most confident work yet, which is definitely saying something, considering I loved 2011’s Boardwalking, Katy Perry cover and all. While Lillis’s previous work channeled the damaged surrealism of Smiley Smile-era Beach Boys, this one reminds me more of Sunflower or Surf’s Up. Gone are the synths and drum samples from the last record; in their place, Lillis employs rich arrangements involving upright piano, violins, ukelele, “harmonicas; audion electric chord organ; pots, pans, glasses; packing-tape drums; jar-of-pennies; laundry basket; maracas and shakers; backgammon pieces; pencils; [and] effects.” The songs are also longer and more fully fledged.

From the first notes of “The Scientists Say,” The Loudest Sound is lush, richly arranged pop music, with some of Lillis’s most gorgeous harmonies and intimate lyrics yet. Listen to it alone and try not to cry. Seriously, listen to the opening track:

My other favorite is probably “What We Bury At Night,” which finds Lillis crooning in a lower register over an almost a cappella backdrop of swirling harmonies, maracas, steel guitar whines, and god knows what else.

Orkinpod Drops New Album, Reveals Secret Identity

“You may find me and my guitar in some unexpected places!”

About a year ago we posted two anonymously produced Mystery LPs by Wes artists, including a self-titled release by one mysterious Orkinpod, which A-Batte described as “definitely not your everyday Brian Wilson tribute.” As for who exactly is behind Orkinpod’s fractured psychedelic pop: “Nothing like a little mystery,” the unnamed artist declared.

Until now. Orkinpod has recently revealed himself to be Wesleyan senior and famed Argus comics editor BJ Lillis ’12, who performs all the parts and records much of the music in his bed and shower at his home in Sleepy Hollow, NY. Lillis is back with his sophomore release, Boardwalking, complete with more light guitar fuzz, colorful acoustic pop, and Beach Boys harmonies and available for free download at Bandcamp. Highlights include the sunny “Waking Up in the Afternoon,” quietly gorgeous “Waltz of the Jellyfish,” and a weirdly seductive interpretation of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.”

Click past the jump for a few audio samples and a brief interview with Orkinpod. Also, stay tuned for possible impromptu Orkinpod campus performances.