Album Review: Matt Costa’s “Orange Sunshine” Is LSD For Your Ears

Imagine opening up a delicious, orange-peach soda. It fuzz sizzles and gurgles over in delicious, sugary froth. As you drink in this soda-pop you feel a sense of euphoric freshness, like this drink was all your spirit ever needed for its thirst. That drink is actually a record by Matt Costa, and it is called Orange Sunshine. 

Set for a Novemebr 11 release, Orange Sunshine is like a creamy, tasty musical treat for your ears. In sound, it resonates with the 70’s jazz- rock-funk records that investigated the soul through trumpet/ sax symphonies and piano-led harmonies, which is perfect considering it is the soundtrack for the new documentary of the same title.  Orange Sunshine which is about the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a church formed in the early ’60s by a group of surfers/hippies in Orange County who wanted to change the world with psychedelic drugs and became the largest manufacturers of LSD in the United States. The film analyzes these men’s genuine belief that LSD has spiritual/religious value, and could be a source to open one’s internal door to the eternal life. For me, it is a fascinating tale that challenges how we define religion, and further fleshes the relationship spirituality and drugs have always had throughout history, with many religious group using cannabis, peyote, salvia and other hallucinogenic/psychotropic drug in an attempt to be closer with the universe. Hence, Costa does his best the elevate the psychedelic properties of music through his soundtrack.

I am always analyzing the spirit/mind- altering effects of music, and Matt Costa’s Orange Sunshine is no exception. On the contrary, it is a sonic standard/desire for Costa to make an album that sounds like LSD for your ears. The result is pretty “trippy”, especially when you hear monologues from members of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love interceding with the “Wonderland” sounds of Orange 
Sunshine. Their quotes flow beautifully with Costa’s composition to build the neon-world they saw in their minds of peace, love, and a drug-induced sense of universality. In addition, the soundtrack does well to attract listeners’ desire to see the film in their minds and thus want to see it in theaters. As you go through tracks like, “Orange Take Over”, “Soul Full Of Orange”, and “Smug Smugglers”, you can sonically hear the rise and fall of this brotherhood. Moreover, you can feel the rising tide of their faith and woes as their religious odyssey becomes a mass, drug empire. Costa makes sure to give Hendrix-like guitar riffs, Parliament Funkadelic basslines, and Carlos Santana/ Miles Davis jazz stylings that will leave listeners feeling like they have been drugged by the era and Brotherhood of Love’s story.

It beautifully alarming to see how well Costa has exemplified the 70’s era of music and how sonically tethered it was to LSD. Even the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club, one of their best albums, was inspired by drug-induced visions. Thus, Costa’s Orange Sunshine is a musical understand the light and dark sides of drugs that can both empower and disavow a people. This is no easy feat as to combine a balance approach to a drug’s power, both good and bad, while sonically showing the vast, fascinating abstractions it causes in users seems like an impossible music goal. Therefore, Costa’s Orange Sunshine doubles in admirability and prowess by placing a communal/ historical narrative in 17 tracks that actually tell a tale worth seeing. For More Information on Matt Costa and To Buy  Orange Sunshine on Novemebr 11 Click Here