West Texas Ormonde Dreams of Europe

Denton's Robert Gomez and Anna-Lynne Williams track their Marfa trip

By Lyndsay Knecht Milne
|  Saturday, Sep 5, 2009  |  Updated 10:00 AM CDT
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West Texas Ormonde Dreams of Europe

The Agency Group

Denton's Robert Gomez is one-half of Ormonde, an ambiet-folk duo that sprung from a month-long collaboration in Marfa, Texas.

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The past three Saturdays, we've had a Groundhog Day-style startle. Robert Gomez and Anna-Lynne Williams play on their own and as a duo at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton. We would remember, then realize hours later that we'd have to wait.

It's finally the day of the Ormonde show, and our office is filled with the voices of Gomez and Williams in all their incarnations: Williams' shoegazey-folk project Lotte Kestner, Gomez's own dreamy songs and the creative alliance they forged in Marfa, Texas. We know Gomez as a member of Sarah Jaffe's band and a Renaissance man of Denton music, a tres player in Mi Son Mi Son Mi Son and a pedalsmith for his own ambient folk songs. He caused chatter in recent months for sampling David Byrne's live installation "Playing the Building" at the Battery Maritime Building and making a song out of sounds from the building's instrument (there's a blurb about the undertaking at Disquiet with an MP3 of Gomez's mashup he calls "Hunting Song".) You might recognize Williams' bird-like cadence from Trespassers William.

According to a story told by both musicians on their netspaces, they met when they were both recruited to help with John Grant's (The Czars) forthcoming album at Midlake's Denton studio. Both Williams and Gomez were waiting for solo albums to emerge from the can, and Gomez prescribed a month of creative utopia in the desert of Marfa where the two could record on his gear in a rented house under an open sky.

They left what Gomez calls a "400 square foot adobe mansion" with ten songs. The ones we've heard could maybe be described as staggeringly beautiful French-inspired parlor-folk. There's even a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's "Lemon Incest" translated to English, with a salsa-paced loop in the background.

Listening to Ormonde isn't taking an aural visit to Marfa, it's a voyage to Vienna or Paris by way of starship. "It's really unlike anything I've ever heard," one visitor to our office said, before retreating to the kitchen to make an omelette.

Hear Ormonde for yourself tonight at Dan's Silverleaf, with Robert Gomez and Lotte Kestner opening. Show at 10PM.

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