A year and a half ago, alone in his bedroom in Allston, Massachusetts, Jimmy Hewitt began Orca Orca, then called Young Minds. In the fall of 2010 he pushed aside the plaid shirts lining his closet and recorded jangly guitars riffs. He drove around Boston, finding moments of solitude to record vocals. He put everything together and uploaded a five-song set of bedroom pop gems entitled Imago Demos.
His demos made the rounds, gracing a handful of blogs. Jimmy wanted more than a mere cameo. Fleeting blog fame was not tangible— he wanted to play shows around Boston. The project was in transition. Before one of his first shows, Jimmy told me how surprised he was to see his demos on the internet. He didn’t know how Tyler from Flashlight Tag even came across his music on Bandcamp. A month after uploading the demos, Jimmy was contacted by French netlabel Beko DSL asking if he wanted to contribute a track to an upcoming compilation that would feature some of my current favorites, like The Bilinda Butchers, Sad Souls and Endiamonds (download it here). Still, it all felt distant. People in far off places listened and loved his tunes. Yet, at his first few shows, the crowd was largely friends and family. The propagation of his music via the internet gave him hope for the project, but, at least in his hometown, he would have to wait for recognition. So, he stood on the stage, draped in reds and purples; he jammed away. Sure, maybe he’d break a string in the middle of a song, but he’d keep playing, keeping up with his trusty drum machine. Over the next few months, or perhaps the next year, Jimmy developed Orca Orca. He focused on his live show. He added a drummer, a bassist, a guitarist— it was coming together.
Now, Jimmy, alongside a couple of his closest high-school buddies, has played all over Boston. Two years ago, he may not have had the self-assurance to sing in front of his roommates, let alone a club full of judging, iPhone-wielding faces. Orca Orca is now a more complete project. After his short set a month ago, someone in the crowd shouted, begging for another song. Jimmy laughed and leaned towards the mic— “We don’t have any more songs.” Well now Orca Orca has a few more songs to its name. He’s spent the last few months crafting a new set of tunes. Today, Jimmy released his latest EP, a limited-edition cassette entitled Make Live. His new songs don’t stray far from his early demos. Recorded in his apartment in Allston, they are about the same youthful simplicities— cruising around with friends and staying up until the sun pierces the hazy horizon. You can snag Make Live over at Orca Orca’s bandcamp for free, or drop a couple of bills on a sweet tape.
Catch Orca Orca play some tunes off his new EP April 6th at O’Brien’s in Allston. Also, he’s opening for the like-minded Abadabad— so be there. Check out a couple of new ones below…
Orca Orca - when the sun comes up (original demo)
Orca Orca - Say So
Orca Orca - Make Live