Matt Quinn Shares How Mt. Joy Reconnected With the Earth in New Album, Orange Blood

Mt. Joy is one of our favorite (if not our very favorite) contemporary indie rock bands, and their third studio album Orange Blood doesn't disappoint. In fact, it soars.

Orange Blood's 10 tracks show the band at its very best. From the smooth and contemplative title track "Orange Blood" to the effervescent and ever-optimistic "Evergreen" and the folksy, lovesick sounds of "Bathroom Light," these songs share a whole new side of the band while being as thoughtful and introspective as ever. In fact, the album is poignant in an entirely new way, exploring concepts such as connection and mindfulness, and reminding us all to let the glow of the sun help us get back in touch with the universe around us.

For us, it was love from the first single, "Lemon Tree," and we were honored to get the chance to chat with frontman Matt Quinn all about the new album, what inspired it, and where the band is headed next on their musical journey.

Sweety High: What does the album name Orange Blood mean to the band?

Matt Quinn: It came from a desert trip idea that the light from the sun is the blood of the universe. And then just felt like the color orange really ended up representing the vibe of this record.

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SH: What do you feel are the overarching themes of the album? What kind of vibe do you hope fans take away from it?

MQ: Self-discovery, new love and loss. I just hope in these insane times people can be present and get lost in these songs long enough to feel something other than the craziness that is all around us now. I think there's a theme about zooming out and keeping things simple that can really help people reset if they dive in.

 

SH: Why did "Orange Blood" feel like the perfect title track for this collection of songs? How does it fit into the wider story of the album?

MQ: It's where my mindset writing this record shifted. I had written the song "Bang," which was about the darkness of gun violence in Philly and the pandemic in NYC. The record felt like it was headed down a path of sort of pandemic commentary. Then I went to Joshua Tree and really just was able to zoom out and connect with the Earth and just be thoughtful about the energy we all share here. "Orange Blood," the song, came from that trip. Then, the album took on this goal of just trying to make people be present and appreciative of the energy we share in this beautiful world that is somehow spinning through space. We really are so important to each other, and it's easy to forget that these days.

 

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SH: What are your favorite songs on the album? Why?

MQ: I really love "Orange Blood" for reasons already stated. I love "Johnson Song"—It's a long inside joke about a word we use for everything. A "johnson" can be a thing like a salt shaker. Or it is usually used to describe a sh***y situation. Having shows canceled is a "johnson." But obviously, it's also a euphemism for a d**k. I had forgotten about that usage and accidentally wrote a d**k joke song anthem. I was alerted of this after the chorus was tracked by our producer. I was sad for like 10 seconds and then realized it was the perfect meta johnson. It's just a funny, fun song—I'm excited for people to hear it. I also love "Bathroom Light" because it's a deeply personal tune about loss and it means a lot to me. "Lemon Tree," too!

 

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SH: How has the band grown and changed since Rearrange Us? What are some of the biggest musical differences on Orange Blood, whether thematically or sonically?

MQ: I just think we spent the pandemic playing and writing so much music while everyone was knitting and making homemade bread. But we made bread, too. So, I'm not sure. But honestly, the band has just matured a lot. We've got great musicians who are just dedicated to making this project special. We're different, and I think people are going to start to see that if they haven't already.

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Want to know what else we're listening to this week? Click HERE to read our interview with girlfriends on their new album, (e)motion sickness.