Watchhouse 1, Mandolin Orange 0

Watchhouse new name and single

Watchhouse – Photo: LTTL


(ex Mandolin Orange)

New single and video for “Better Way”

In an unexpected and unusual development, feted US folk duo Mandolin Orange (Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz) have re-badged after more than a decade as Watchhouse.

“Mandolin Orange was born out of my 21-year-old mind. The name isn’t what I strive for when I write, because it doesn’t match what I picture when I invite people into my songs, new or old,” admits Marlin. “Band names can be trivial, but we have been burdened by the dichotomy between ours and the music we share.”

Andrew Marlin

In 2020 COVID-caused a rare respite for the couple which offered the chance to reflect on what is important and to reimagine what is possible, as they raised their toddler. They also recorded their most audacious album yet and decided it was finally time to change their name—to Watchhouse, an identity that they believe reflects their true intentions.

Here’s the new sound, the lengthy and more experimental single “Better Way” out now via Thirty Tigers / Cooking Vinyl Australia.

During Marlin’s difficult teenage years, a family of friends would take him on biannual trips to a tiny Chesapeake Bay hunting cabin, suspended by stilts above a tidal island and accessible only by boat. He would sit there, sans electricity and electronic devices, revelling in an mixture of silence and communion. That was The Watch House, and that is the space Marlin, Frantz and their sterling ensemble now aim to shape under the new banner.

“We’re different people than when we started this band. We’re setting new intentions, taking control of this thing again.”

Andrew Marlin

Song Credits:

Written by: Andrew Marlin (Tiptoe Tiger Publishing, BMI) Produced by: Josh Kaufman & Andrew Marlin

Performed by:

Andrew Marlin – Singing, Mandolin, Nylon String Guitar

Emily Frantz – Fiddle, Singing

Josh Oliver – Acoustic Guitar, 12 String Guitar, Electric Guitar

Clint Mullican – Upright Bass

Joe Westerlund – Drums, Percussion

Josh Kaufman – Organ, Percussion, Electric Guitar




Watchhouse new name and single

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Author: Rob Dickens

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  1. I’ve admired Mandolin Orange for years. With the name change, it will be interesting to see the directions in which they move. I suspect they have much to say.

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    • I agree they have much to say. The new song is quite different, more a jam. Name change is a big step at their career stage.

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