Text: Dinesh Mattu
“IF YOU DON’T KNOW… NOW YOU KNOW” (The Notorious B.I.G., 1994)
IYDK is IAMNEXT’s premier showcase for our favourite new artists; those we’re most excited about breaking through and truly believe are on the brink of something special.
The purpose of this series is simple; pure, unadulterated discovery.
We’re using this platform to shine a light on new talent, in a bid to bring artists closer to fans and fans closer to artists.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW: ORION SUN
NAME: ORION SUN
LIKE: FRANK OCEAN, H.E.R., DANIEL CAESAR, ARLO PARKS, RAVEENA
SOUND: LO-FI, R&B, BEDROOM POP, JAZZ
FEELING: MAGICAL, VULNERABLE, HONEST IG: @cloudgem
Orion Sun is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer whose sparsely laden beats and crooning wispy vocals seem to connect quite pertinently in the time we currently find ourselves in. No matter what, music keeps going, and one listen to her latest release Hold Space For Me acts as a little light relief to soothe those anxious worries and gently cradle the soul. Littered with modest lyrics and mellow beats, it feels like an apt soundtrack to our tumultuous young lives, especially during a time where it feels as though everything is cancelled. The gorgeous lead song ‘Lightning’ (where she sings about her family home being burnt down) translates into cathartic reflection, ‘What’s going On? I say what’s going on? … What the fuck’s going on?,’ Orion croons throughout the chorus; a sentiment which echoes true with each day that passes by.
“I thought that things could get better, I thought that love lasts forever, But forever's as long as a day, And the day is as long as an hour.”
- ‘Lightning’, Orion Sun
For the girl who grew up aspiring to be an astronaut, ‘Coffee for Dinner’ transports you to another dimension, flipping The Weeknd’s ‘Often’ superbly. Much like the rest of her music, it tinges this fine line between intimacy and distance, and has a subtle delicacy which anchors the song, not to mention those spacey reverb effects throughout the record. Soft, nostalgic, honest, it’s a true reflection of the fragility of modern love.
The video, which follows Orion waking up in a spacesuit in a deserted mid-western town is an eerily accurate representation of our times, but the cinematography is enchanting and truly captures the sensibility of the song.
Pitchfork recently critiqued Hold Space For Me mentioning that Orion’s voice doesn’t carry the emotional weight of some of the songs given the overall sparse production on the album, but the skeletal feeling is exactly what’s so charming about it. Naked, bare, true; less is more. The album closer ‘Birds Gave Up’ is testament to this, it’s stripped back, hazy and deeply vulnerable, it almost feels like morning meditation through dreamy sunlight.
Swirling round the Philly scene for a year or so stateside, she’s released some killer projects and supported Daniel Caesar and Tierra Whack on her journey so far, we hope it’s only a matter of time before she takes off and blesses us with some live shows over here in the UK once this storm passes.