Bluegrass Duo Mandolin Orange Change Name to Watchhouse
Mandolin Orange, the Americana duo of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, will now be known as Watchhouse. The pair announced their band's name change on Wednesday (April 21).
"New music, same us," Watchhouse caption their statement on their name change. The name comes, Marlin explains, "from a memory -- a place where I spent memorable, secluded and meditative time as a teenager."
"This past year has been the first time we’ve stayed still since we were 21, and the pause gave us the opportunity to sit with ourselves and set intentions. We have long been burdened by the dichotomy between our band name and the music we strive to create — if you’ve heard the songs, you know they are personal," Frantz and Marlin share. "Now that we can see a future where music is a shared experience again, we're defining the space we share with you on a stage or in your headphones, and making it one that welcomes our creativity and anyone who wants to listen."
As Mandolin Orange (a bluegrass-y pun on "mandarin orange"), Frantz and Marlin officially came together in 2009. They released six albums between 2010 and 2019, including their most recent record, Tides of a Teardrop.
To mark their new chapter, Watchhouse also released a new song, "Better Way," on Wednesday. Frantz calls it "one of our favorite recordings, I think, that we've ever made," while Marlin explains that the song was recorded pre-COVID-19 pandemic, at "a big room at a lake house with our band, playing music together with no masks."
"I can hear all of that when I listen to this track today," he adds. Interjects Frantz, "I think it's a special message for everything we're talking about today, too."
Marlin wrote "Better Way," and co-produced it with Josh Kaufman. The song preaches finding your voice and using it for good: "Speak your mind / Free your mind," the sing at the end of each chorus.
Watchhouse have several socially distanced concerts on their calendar for the coming months. Visit WatchhouseBand.com for more information.