We’re glad to announce that Toronto, Canada-based multi-instrumentalist/producer Stephen James Orr has released a new single, entitled “Losing Time.”
Rooted in riff-based indie rock and soul grooves, Stephen James Orr has released 6 singles this year, which will be on his debut album to be released in 2022. Each song features a different vocalist, as well as the artwork of a different illustrator. As someone who LOVES album artwork, Orr allowed full reign for the illustrators to listen to the tracks and create something that speaks to them. The collage/watercolour inspired design for “Losing Time” is by Abbey Ley, a designer out of Austin/NYC who creates tour posters for the likes of Willie Nelson.
Stephen James Orr’s single “Hindsight” was played on Edge 102 in Toronto, Canada’s leading indie rock station. He also played an almost sold-out show at Lee’s Palace in Toronto, with all the collaborators on his singles, and is building towards playing bigger shows/festivals in 2023.
“Losing Time” is the 6th single released by Stephen James Orr in 2021, following “Wake Up” (our review here). A suave, hook-heavy alternative rock tune that begins with swirling synths and finishes with a guitar / drum crescendo, the song’s lyrics deal with pushing past other’s influences on your life and chasing your dreams.
“Losing Time” features Michelle Challice on vocals, who is a frequent collaborator and part of a blues rock duo Neon Pony with Orr, along with Maurie Kaufmann on drums, who is Lights’ touring drummer. They all met playing in a live karaoke band from Toronto called Good Enough Live Karaoke, and Orr started writing with Michelle in 2020 after posting about looking for singers to collaborate with. “Losing Time” is one of the first songs that they wrote together; and since then they’ve been frequent collaborators, having also started their new blues rock duo, Neon Pony. Orr also collaborated with Maurie on a few songs together in 2020, and this is the first of them to be released.
Influenced by an eclectic range of artists such as Jamila Woods, Hiatus Kaiyote, Anderson Paak, Phony Ppl, Tame Impala, SBTRKT, and Massive Attack, Orr describes the ethos behind “Losing Time”: “This song was inspired by synth-based indie rock. I love riff-based indie rock, that infuses melodic basslines, and synth pads with the guitar. Cliche but Radiohead is always in my mind when writing, in terms of not always following typical song structures, and creating parts instead of just verse, chorus, verse.”
About the meaning behind the single, Orr says, “The song is inspired by those people in your life that try and route you away from your passions/goals. It is reflective on that and inspired by finding yourself and discovering your own path.“
The instrumentals for the track were all recorded in Penetanguishine, ON, at a cottage on Farlain Lake. Stephen James Orr recorded all the guitars, bass, and original drum takes there; while Michelle Challice recorded her vocals at Orr’s home studio in the Junction in Toronto, CA, and Maurie Kaufmann recorded his drum tracks at his home studio. The synths were then recorded in Toronto as the last piece of the puzzle.
“Losing Time” begins with warm synths and dreamy washes of clean-toned electric guitar chords, harmonizing nicely while laidback drumming and deep bass notes set the track into a relaxed groove. Michelle Challice’s captivating vocals soon join in, adding their catchy melodies to the song while bringing the instruments to a new level. Powerful guitar solos by Stephen James Orr later build nicely on the melodic progression of the vocals, while Maurie Kaufmann’s drumming is at times mellow and at other times driving, creating a dynamic atmosphere that perfectly sustains the track’s hooks and riffs. “Losing Time” eventually culminates with wonderfully soulful energy, the guitars and drums crescendoing to conclude the track. “Losing Time” is quite an enjoyable listen, showcasing Stephen James Orr’s brilliant songwriting and superb musicianship; I would highly recommend this track to fans of alternative- and indie rock alike.
If you enjoyed Stephen James’ music and would like to stay updated, be sure to check out his official website. For social media you can follow his Instagram account. To listen to his music, you can head over to his Spotify profile, Soundcloud, and Youtube channel, or you can purchase his music at Bandcamp.
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