Album Review: Kyōto/Nara – Orbit Over Luna

Orbit Over Luna

Band: Orbit Over Luna

Title: Kyōto/Nara

Genre: Ambient, folk, downtempo, instrumental, post-rock


Band introduction: Orbit over Luna is the musical alias of Shannon Penner, a multi-instrumentalist, composer, sound engineer and animator in Toronto, Ontario. – Taken from the artist’s Facebook page.

1st Listen: Mainly focused around acoustic and electric guitars, simple percussion, and field recordings\samples; the music is beautiful and unassuming. The first two tracks are typically Japanese, to a Westerner’s ears anyway, and the influences continue throughout the E.P. Perfect for winding down at the end of the day, the whole album maintains a mid tempo feel and I’m looking forward to hearing the next E.P. in the series.

2nd Listen: “Fushimi Inari” is a beautiful piece of ambient music. Percussion slowly fades in under the wash of synth and then a simple acoustic part gives the track structure. It really takes me to a relaxing oasis in a Japanese garden and is a great start to the album.

“10000 Torii Gates” is marginally more upbeat, with bird like sounds over that familiar acoustic sound and softly played drums, bongos?

“Lost in the midst of all this beauty” is an apt title for the next track; sitting in the middle of this album. Very similarly it fades in with synths and then percussion and guitar. This sort of music does not need to break any boundaries; each song is more like a moment of Shannon Penner’s travelling experience. Moments are never long enough to change and the fact these tracks progress little is perfect to portray that feeling.

“Great Budda & the Sacred Deer” begins with slowly strummed guitar and continues that way! Its’ electric guitar counterpart strengthens the harmony and then the track finishes as if it was never there in the first place.

Ponotochō: The Floating World is more of the same; lush synths and acoustic guitars. It does get into a bit of a groove half way through and different layers of sound and different instruments make their way into the mix. The music cuts out and we are in what could be departure lounge of an airport.

For an album where the tracks are very simple and make little in the way of progression, five tracks is the perfect length and I applaud Orbit Over Luna for making the decision to put this project into smaller EPs. Next time I listen will have to be in the evening. I’m at work and that has put me off doing anything else this afternoon!

3rd Listen: Well sod that, I’m sat at work and decided to spin this again! It’s nearly the weekend and things are winding down (and I try to do as little as possible anyway!) What more can I say about this EP? It is five perfect little moments put into music. You don’t need to have been there for the music to put you there. I don’t have a favourite track, I like them all. I think the sparse use of vocals in “Lost in the midst of all this beauty” is my favourite part though. It sounds like that moment when you discover something amazing. I will look forward to the new EPs with baited breath.

Conclusion: An unassuming collection of music that soothes, relaxes, and take you to places you may not have been before. Don’t expect boundaries to be broken, just sit back and take it all in.

  • First Impression: Good
  • Final Impression: Good
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2 Responses to Album Review: Kyōto/Nara – Orbit Over Luna

  1. Thank you so much for the review!
    ~Shannon(orbit over luna)

  2. swings says:

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