I first stumbled upon Orion Sun back in 2017 amongst the depths of the SoundCloud world. SoundCloud, at the time, was overloaded with mumble rappers slurring over static, low-quality beats. I felt as if I had gone dumpster diving and Orion Sun was the treasure that I emerged with. Her incredibly innovative sound was something I had never heard before – the combination of swooning love ballads and spacy beats left me floored.
At the time Orion was dropping fleeting EPs, experimenting with making her own beats for the first time and using that endeavor to figure out exactly what type of music she wanted to create.
It’s evident that Orion is drawn towards writing music on matters of the heart. Love seems to be her main muse that is in constant orbit within her lyrics. The EP that first introduced me to Orion, titled “A Collection of Fleeting Moments and Daydreams” encapsulates her aurora perfectly.
This couldn’t be a more fitting title for this EP, as Orion goes to the depths to articulate an imagined love. Her voice seems to float over the simplistic beats she implements, holding onto certain notes for longer than need be – exposing a paradox of both detachment and intimacy.
This EP seems to have been the building block for her debut album, “Hold Space for Me.” However, on “Hold Space for Me” Orion seems to have a much less fantastical perspective on love – she is now more able to find roots and comfort within the realms of reality. Most of “Hold Space for Me” is exploring themes of abandonment and learning how to love someone from far away.
The first track off the album, “Lightning” is all about feeling left out in the cold – Orion is contemplating how easily love can shapeshift into destruction. She maintains her high vibrato nature – so much so that when she sings certain words, you can feel the shakiness and emotion lingering long after the song has finished.
She sings, “Lightning struck the house we used to live in. It ain’t a home no more, just a property building with new tenants.”
Orion is lamenting on how to grieve a life that she created with a lover – how once the love dwindles out, so does the world in which it inhabited. The concept of home is demolished too, till all that seems to fill her eyes are ashes. It’s quite interesting that Orion starts off the album with a sense of mourning for love. It’s as if she is re-telling a love story to her fans and spoiling the ending for them. She wants them to know that there may not be a happy ending, but that doesn’t mean the love isn’t still worth telling or wasn’t worth experiencing.
During “Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me),” it reminisces on the initial excitement of new love. This track sonically is like a dream that you don’t want to wake up too, with its angelic chords and melodic high hats elevating her piercing vocals. Even when Orion is exploring feelings of passion and anticipation of a future with a new love – she still cannot refrain from anticipating desertion and rejection as well.
She sings, “Swear you came down like a comet. You be all in my dreams like I’m fuckin haunted, but it’s beautiful. It feels so good to know you.”
The relief of being able to find “the one” is also met with the fear of losing it. It’s as if love is dry sand, slipping through the cracks of Orion’s fingers as she tries desperately to hold onto it. In some tracks, she chooses to embrace the act of holding on while other tracks show her finding power in letting go.
The next track, “Coffee for Dinner,” is all about learning to find power in standing tall alone. This track sonically sets itself apart from the rest of the album. The transition from acoustic to electric guitar chords is an evident tonal shift. The electric chords wail a melancholy rift in the background.
She sings, “Coffee for dinner kept me warm in the cold. Made me stronger on my own. Giving up so easy, I think about it often.”
Orion also holds space for her to showcase her freestyle abilities on this album as well. Both tracks, “El Camino” and “Sailing” have moments of Orion rapping in a nonchalant type of demeanor – very opposite to the cupid struck mentality she is used to embodying. The edginess and casual delivery of bars allow fans to see a completely different side of Orion – one that is more confident and care-free.
“Hold Space for Me” is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Orion Sun. As an artist whose growth is evident and abundant – this is only the beginning. All Orion asks is that you hold space for her in the future.