OROPENDOLA: new track released

Brooklyn artist Oropendola has released her new single Trust The Sun today, February 21. This is the second single ]from her upcoming album “Waiting for the Sky to Speak” out March 17th

Trust the Sun

LP Waiting for the Sky To Speak Out via Spirit House and Wilbur & Moore Records March 17th

Brooklyn artist Oropendola (who has played with Half Waif, Barrie, Samir Langus) has released her new single Trust The Sun today, February 21. This is the second single (following Knocking Down Flowers) from her upcoming album “Waiting for the Sky to Speak” out March 17th via Spirit House Records and Wilbur & Moore Records. On the inspiration of Trust The Sun, Joanna explains:

I often have this fear that there is something inherent in me that is unstable. Hazardous. Unloveable, even. A curse leaving me doomed to forever push my loved ones away. A slippery slope that leaves trust – in others, in myself – wounded at the base.

I wrote Trust the Sun in late March of 2020. In my then-apartment, I would write facing a big window laced with delicate ivy, that looked out onto our backyard. Brooklyn was rapidly blooming into the most incongruously stunning springtime version of itself. Forsythias, rhododendrons, eastern redbuds, and cherry blossoms were taking turns exploding open as the world was shutting down. I took long walks on bewilderingly sunny days and found immense comfort tracking the intricacies of spring, noticing the order of the blooms and the alternating cycles of death and rebirth.

Trying to understand the intricacies of human relationships, though, often leaves me feeling like a floundering, fraudulent meteorologist, donning a snowsuit in the heat of summer, holding party guests hostage in the heart of a hurricane, “making predictions without ever going outside.” I found myself, in the isolation of the pandemic, ruminating on lost friends and lovers, parsing out patterns that I usually avoided facing. Pain that I had previously become so adept at pushing aside was suddenly gazing directly at me. When it all rushed in, the force of the waves knocked me over, each one something or someone I was mourning and missing, and in tandem, a part of myself I was condemning for losing them. The inclination was to fight it, to get out, but I knew I needed to deepen. Trust the Sun started as a lament, a plea, but eventually, it became a mantra. Take a breath, plunge into the water, and

Savor the cherry blossoms before their once-luscious flowers become fragments of pink dust on the earth. Accept that strong green summer leaves turn to fire and crumple with the pinch of a fist, and it’s not just okay, it’s actually beautiful. I started holding myself during that time. I would just lay on my bed and wrap my arms around my own shoulders, practicing not pushing my own self away. And over time it became easier to be more generous with my heart, to extend myself outwards more and more, trying not to fear, but rather embrace, the unpredictability and ephemerality of it all. I walked and marveled, no matter the season, felt it when the sun came out, allowed its light to find space within me, and allowed myself to find more joy spreading it to other people.

The heart can expand so big when you let it, when you trust in it. 

OROPENDOLA: new track released
OROPENDOLA: new track released

There’s a confidence that rings out across the eleven songs that make up Waiting for the Sky to Speak, Joanna Schubert’s debut album as Oropendola, a word that means “golden pendulum.” These tracks shimmer with bursts of energy and emotion, swinging from playfulness to earnestness with deft, technicolor brushstrokes. The album is a celebration of choosing life even in the face of its ephemerality, and of finding motion even in the midst of stillness. 

The songs on Waiting for the Sky to Speak were born from a time of immobility both existential and literal. As the world went into a state of lockdown during the pandemic, Schubert was reckoning with a feeling that, for years, her life had been at a standstill. She was ready to move forward, to embrace joy and sing through the static. The album title, which comes from the album’s opening track “Rorschach Sky,” is a fitting one then: the phrase points to the missed opportunity of spending your life waiting for something when life is happening all around you. 

On lead single “Knocking Down Flowers,” Schubert finds life in the least likely of places: a construction site. Here, she recognizes and illuminates the power of living at the intersection of contrasts. The album’s emotional core comes through on roiling ballad “Trust the Sun” and clear-eyed album closer “When You Carried Me,” which both look to the sun—another kind of golden pendulum—as a guiding force. While much of the rest of Waiting for the Sky to Speak careens across black-ice patches of inner conflict, both these songs offer a tentative hand outward, towards love, friendship, and family— the fixed sun in a changeable sky—as she coaxes herself back out into the world.

Waiting for the Sky to Speak is an imaginative and colorful chimera of a collection that marks Oropendola’s triumphant arrival. Ultimately, these songs ask one of the soul’s most fundamental questions: how do you find your footing in an impermanent world? There is no absolute answer, and thus, as Schubert finds, there is no purpose in waiting for one. How liberating it is to break out of our own cycles, to be the force that knocks the pendulum off its axis. 

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