The Orange Peels’ “Aether Tide”

by E. "Doc" Smith on May 27, 2011

As many of you gentle readers know, I’ve been a long time fan of singer songwriter Allen Clapp and bassist Jill Pries’ pop-driven, outfit from Sunnyvale, “The Orange Peels”. Their anthemic hits, “Back in San Francisco”, co-penned by former guitarist Larry Winther of the Mummies, and “Jane Lane” are among my favorites. The Peels have seen a few changes over the years and with departure of Winther, Bob Vickers and “Ocean Blue’s” Oed Ronnie, songwriter, guitarist/drummer John Moremen moved to over to lead guitar full time and added the talented Gabriel Coan on drums. Like the previous album “20/20”, Clapp and Pries have continued to steer the Peels toward their pop-rock side. Moremen, better known as a guitarist and having had the benefit of drumming behind the various Peels line-ups for some time, has been free put his indelible stamp on their sound. Their newest single, “Aether Tide” on the MintyFresh label, is a unique continuation of the earlier Peels efforts.

“We’ve been working on our fifth album at Mystery Lawn studio,” according to Clapp, “Creating new sounds with old technology and vice-versa. Aether Tide is the first result. Recorded in an afternoon with stereo ribbon microphones, tube tape machines-as-guitar-amps, a 1930s Altec speaker cabinet and various synths and mellotrons, the song comes at you from a different space-time. You figure it out. Lyrically exploring the resurgence and rebirth of Aether Theory vs. 20th Century quantum physics, it’s a near cosmic marriage of music and lyrics propelled by ambient drums and interweaving guitar melodies…”

In today’s world of indie and artist driven labels, technology and the internet continue to be a lightening fast method for artists to release singles almost instantly; stay in touch with loyal fans with inter-active social media tools, videos, downloads and digital distribution networks capable of reaching all over the globe. That hasn’t been lost on the Peels, which is a delight to their avid followers. For a glimpse of the new Orange Peels single “Aether Tide”, check out their video on YouTube.

E. “Doc” Smith is a musician and recording engineer who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Warren Zevon, Mickey Hart, Jimmy Cliff, and John Mayall among others. He is also the inventor of the musical instrument, the Drummstick. He can be reached at

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