The Rare Occasions Pair Existentialism and Explosive Indie Pop on "Origami"
LA-based, New England-raised indie rock trio The Rare Occasions are starting summer strong with their latest single, “Origami.” The upbeat indie rock track has an exhilarating garage rock, early '00s energy, and is packed with infectious melodic hooks and catchy vocal harmonies, making it an instant earworm for any fan of Arctic Monkeys or The Strokes.
“Origami” is a prime example of just how much the band has flourished creatively since becoming a three-piece. Featuring summery guitar riffs, electronic soundscapes, and lush orchestral arrangements, the track unabashedly dives into themes of anxious existentialism. This self-examination is especially evident on lines like, “Take a look at me/ crumpled up on the floor feeling lonely / honestly something is wrong with me,” and “I’ve been freaking out / folding myself into origami/ terrified of what they would think of me.” Overall, the track sounds and feels like something out of a coming-of-age film, where all listeners can do is hope that the song’s protagonist can figure out what exactly he’s missing and “face the night.”
“This past year has felt claustrophobic in every sense, with life seemingly folding in on itself time and time again,” shares lead vocalist and guitarist Brian McLaughlin. “Whenever I feel crowded out by my own thoughts, I find the outdoors at night to be a welcoming escape, moving through the dark after the world has gone to sleep. I hope this song can serve as a reminder to seek out the quiet and calm that exists outside our noisy little brains.”
“Origami” is the latest single from the band’s upcoming album, Big Whoop. The record is intensely DIY in nature, with almost every aspect of the production done by the band. The recording sessions and mixing were all done in McLaughlin’s living room and spare bedroom while drummer Luke Imbusch composed all of the orchestral arrangements. Imbusch also recruited and then conducted a live string quartet for the recording.
“So much of this album was born out of struggle which forced us out of our comfort zones and to think beyond our own barriers,” says the band. “After the departure of our guitarist, Peter, we knew we had more to give to the world.” The band explained that this process pushed them to broaden their approach to songwriting, arranging, and production. After releasing a couple of preliminary singles, the COVID pandemic hit in March 2020, which halted everything for months. Like many indie artists, this forced them to take a step back, refine what they had created, and expand their sonic horizons.
Be sure to check out The Rare Occasions’ latest single, “Origami,” today and be on the lookout for the band’s sophomore album, Big Whoop, due out June 18.
Listen to "Origami" below: