When it feels like all hope is lost for the ever fading guitar, Orions Belte comes in with a raucous convergence of ’70s soul, Ethiopian jazz and modern blues.
Their latest track “Joe Frazier” is no exception. Wandering into the more ambiguous territory that their jazz and blues predecessors had no trouble navigating, Orions Belte brings back the lost art of structure-less craft. It’s a carefully assembled jam that is well articulated without being formulaic. And as the title suggests, the song references one of America’s greatest heavyweight champions of all time. This might seem like surprising subject matter for a group of Norwegians, but it illustrates their love of storytelling, regardless of origin or arena. The band notes:
“The song is about the feeling of being an underdog in some way, and to us, Joe Frazier is the biggest underdog there ever was. His meetings with Muhammad Ali were sensational. He won the first fight, and when you think of the fact that Ali only lost five fights in total, and three of them in the final years of his career, it’s an even bigger accomplishment. Also, the final fight in Manila went fourteen rounds. Fourteen rounds with the greatest boxer of all times. Ali later stated that Frazier just quit right before himself because none of them were able to fight more in the extreme heat. I’ve always liked the underdogs and silent heroes in sports, music and movies, so this is a song for all of them. After we recorded the song, Chris [Holm] added the beautiful background vocals which can describe the feeling of pulling through, even in hard times. ‘Some days I feel like I’m losing it all/ Then I put on that cruise control/ Baby, it’s all that I got.'”
Listen to “Joe Frazier” below, the newest single off the band’s upcoming debut album Mint, out September 14.