The Orchard Keepers, Song of the Day: “Sugar Spit”


The Orchard Keepers bring out the best of their infectious, punk-filled energy in their new single, “Sugar Spit”.

While we’ve been covering a lot of bands in the Indy scene, we haven’t touched on punk as much as we probably should. Indianapolis is home to a lot of great punk bands that may not get as much credit as they deserve. It can be easy to overlook them, unless you’re a frequenter of the Melody Inn’s ‘Punk Rock Night’. Because of that, for today, we’re giving a shout out to one of our favorite punk groups out there now. Even if you’re not a big punk fan, you’ll find something to like in “Sugar Spit”.

So before we get into our song of the day, here’s a little more information on The Orchard Keepers.

The Orchard Keepers

The Orchard Keepers is a three-piece, Indianapolis punk rock band that’s been making a splash in the local scene for some time. They’ve headlined Punk Rock Night at the Melody Inn, sharing the bill with the Katatonics, Lousy Sue, and Reuther, and have also opened for acts like the Coathangers, Skating Polly, and Thelma and the Sleaze. Just last week, they played the Melody Inn for Friday the 13th with Founders and Werewolf with a Shotgun.

The trio’s backbone rests on the longtime collaborators, vocalist/guitarist Ayanna Miller and bassist Ella Roberts, whose shared appreciation for Cormac McCarthy led to them naming their group after one of his novels. Upon meeting up with drummer Nick Underwood, The Orchard Keepers were assembled.

The Orchard Keepers released their debut single, “Tiny Robot Men”, and their debut album, “Stick Face” in 2017. 2018 saw the release of the Orchard Keepers’ four track EP, “Freudian Slip”. The EP is structured as a four act horror story, where Orchard Keepers crank up the weird and disturbing in a haunting tale. Just this month, Orchard Keepers released the double-sided single “Sugar Spit/Driftwood Abbey”.

Sugar Spit

If you’re looking for a high-octane track guaranteed to get your blood and your bones moving, look no further. “Sugar Spit” opens with a relentless energy carried by a fuzzy and frenetic riff and Miller’s insidiously chaotic (but pleasing) vocals. Despite locking into a solid riff, the track changes and evolves over the course of the song, with each transition ramping up the energy another notch.

“Sugar Spit” sees The Orchard Keepers moving away from the less-accessible format of dark and disturbing storytelling. In tone, however, the difference isn’t as noticeable. And “Sugar Spit” certainly has its moments of graphic and intense lyrics. The subject matter of this track is where the biggest difference comes in. Instead of a regaling story of mental institutions and demon spawn, we get the more standard subject matter of love (and lust). But when paired with The Orchard Keepers’ unique sound, there’s hardly anything standard about “Sugar Spit” at all.

There are more than a few choice lines to pluck from the lyrics, but here are a few of our favorite. While the powerful lyrics seem mostly geared toward lust, it isn’t hard to see how love can get thrown in the mix as well.

“Sweet talking, whisky lips / I want them, and that sugar spit”.

“Lay me down, I want to feel the pressure / We both know this ain’t just for pleasure / You make me want to be better, you’re a f***ing treasure”.

Final Thoughts

Overall, The Orchard Keepers’ “Sugar Spit” is a frenetic, fuzz-filled romp with an infectious kind of energy. After listening to it several times now, I’m determined to see The Orchard Keepers live as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I just missed their last show of 2019. But fortunately, the wait won’t be too long.

The Orchard Keepers are set to play a local showcase hosted by Black Circle Brewing Co. on January 22nd. Other bands to play include Thin Lines and 5th Lucky Dragon. Be sure to keep that show on your radar, as The Orchard Keepers are one of those groups that should be experienced live. Even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of punk music, you’re sure to find something to like in The Orchard Keepers.

If you enjoyed listening to The Orchard Keepers’ song, “Sugar Spit”, you can listen to more of the other single they just dropped, “Driftwood Abbey” by visiting their Bandcamp page. You can also find The Orchard Keepers on Facebook.

Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.


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