THE BEAT GOES ON
Musician Orpheo McCord is making new sounds from his Ojai home studio.
Drummer Orpheo McCord is best known for his integral role as the high-energy percussionist and drummer with Grammy Award-winning indie darlings Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. However, his first solo album, Recovery Inhale, which will be released in late January, finds McCord departing from his usual role— providing a rhythm section—and instead opting for a change of pace. “After being on the road for over a decade, performing and recording with Edward Sharpe, it felt cathartic to make an album that was totally free of rhythm and the traditional verse/chorus song structure,” says McCord of his meditative, instrumental album based around the marimba, a xylophone-type percussion instrument from West and Central Africa.
For years, McCord called East Los Angles his home, and was a part of the Echo Park cultural renaissance of the early aughts. “So much artistic collaboration was happening there, with people creating all sorts of art,” says McCord. “There was a real sense of community happening, and magic was in the air. It was such an exciting time for me.”
One can venture that McCord continues to harness the same energy in Ojai, where he decamped with his family in 2011. It was a necessary change of scenery after leading an exciting tour life and traveling the world, or as McCord puts it, being a “full-on road dog.”
McCord recorded Recovery Inhale at his home studio in Ojai (co-produced and mixed by another local, Scott Hirsch). This album feels like an ode to the quieter side of life, mirroring McCord’s environment. “Living in Ojai, I began to give myself permission to free associate, and experiment with sound,” McCord shares. “I naturally needed to calm my own nervous system, so this album was all about creating these luscious tonalities that allow the listener to let go of the daily chatter that inundates us all.”