Oren Lyons is a Native American faithkeeper who is widely recognized for his advocacy for indegenous rights. Oren Lyons is also a band, whose nostalgic mix of cinematic Western symphonic rock is a musical “return to the land” and a true pleasure to listen to.
Oren Lyons formed this past January in Silver Lake, California, a Los Angeles neighborhood known for its modernist architecture and hipsters. It combines the work of composer and multi-instrumentalist Gueorgui Linev with guitarist/producer Peter Potyondy, singer Kristianne Bautista, violinist Dannon Rampton, drummer Randy Wagner, and bassist Ian Anderson.
The end result of this combination is an ambient sound that refreshingly transforms the genre of progressive rock into a calm, ethereal, dream-like sequence of delicate string arrangements, soft vocals, and excellent rhythm. “Forever Found,” the band’s debut single, can be streamed on their website. The effort reminds me of Rome, the 2011 album written by Danger Mouse and Italian composer Daniele Luppi, featuring Jack White and Norah Jones. That album featured musicians who recorded spaghetti western soundtracks in the mid-60s. “Forever Found” is cut from the same mold, a track that could have easily found itself on a Western sountrack, and this old-fashioned styling is far from outdated.
The song begins with strings that fall into percussion and an introductory bass line. The bass work in this song is notably good. With a name like Ian Anderson, you almost certainly have to be talented. Kristianne Bautista’s voice can be best described as haunting. It elegantly dances with the music, oscillating with the strings skillfully. The song continues to rise, taking a step up for the second verse, and this leads to exciting string work. The strings are certainly one of the main elements of the song, and they do carry it. I must say though, when the song descends at the 2:40 mark, Peter Potyondy’s guitar introduces a new element to the piece, providing it with an infectious folk-esque riff. The ending is wonderfully constructed. It also provides the listener with a most important conclusion – I want to hear more!