Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, who have performed for a decade as Mandolin Orange, have announced that they are changing their band name to Watchhouse. Along with the announcement, the newly-christened Watchhouse released a new single, “Better Way”, and an accompanying music video.
In a lengthy statement posted to Twitter, Marlin explains the origins of the new name, reflects on what the change means for the folk duo, and hints at the coming release of a new Watchhouse album. Read the statement below:
We’re very excited to share some foundational news today—our band is now called Watchhouse. It’s a new name to carry this music you know as Mandolin Orange into the future. We’d love to tell you a little more about it…
Watchhouse comes from a memory—a place where I spent memorable, secluded, and meditative times as a teenager. During those same years I learned how music wasn’t something that happened. It’s a place, it’s gravity (Strawberry Fields was the song that did it). It was an escape, and I began spending all my time there. I wrote song after song, and found someone to share it with when I met Emily.
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. 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.
We are lucky that Mandolin Orange means something to many people, and have no intention of leaving behind our older material. It’s as important to us as ever, and we can’t wait to bring it back to your ears as Watchhouse, alongside a brand new album that we’re particularly fond of (news soon!). Thank you for hearing our music—we owe something to anyone still reading this and can’t wait to continue this journey with you.
“Better Way”, out now via Tiptoe Tiger Music / Thirty Tigers, was produced by Josh Kaufman, who has worked on records for everyone from The National to Bonny Light Horseman and played guitar on multiple Taylor Swift albums. The track serves as the first step into the Watchhouse era with spacey sonic elements imbued in the duo’s heartfelt folk stylings. Watch the Lachlan Turczan-directed video below or stream “Better Way” on the platform of your choice here.
Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange) – “Better Way” (Official Video)
[Video: Mandolin Orange]