"Tides of a Teardrop" is the sixth full length studio album from Americana/folk duo Mandolin Orange, released 1st Feb 2019 through Yep Roc Records.
A sense of emotional transformation is apparent throughout Tides of a Teardrop. This is undeniably due to the influence of confronting loss and the subsequent grief. Marlin's mother passed away after complications from surgery when he was only 18. The album is, therefore, peppered with acknowledgments of repressing agony and painstakingly poignant memories. The most overt and earnest example is derived from "Suspended in Heaven" when Marlin laments "Mother is gone, her journey's unending / She's leaving this shore for the sea of all-knowing." Likewise, "Mother Deer's" understanding of the spiritual is connected to liberation and nature. Their conception of the afterlife is sweet and tender: "Somewhere in a field of clover she waits for me / She frolics in the land / In a land of endless spring / No scavengers or machines / She is free." The image of a deer depicts piety while clovers symbolize a power to ward off evil. Imagining the hereafter as a blissful and ethereal sanctuary is consoling for those in mourning.
The album begins with the telling lyrics "just like an old friend kinder than expected". Indeed, Mandolin Orange do not stray from their ineradicable musicality. More so, Tides of a Teardrop contributes to a repertoire exhibiting Mandolin Orange's ability to capture musical beauty.
Reviewed by Elisabeth Woronzoff for popmatters.com.