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Orion Sun‘s stellar 2020 album Hold Space For Me marks its one-year anniversary this weekend, and though its release right at the top of COVID fell under extremely less-than-ideal circumstances, the songwriter has persevered, and today released a dazzling livestream concert backed by her longtime friends in Omar’s Hat.

“I just felt like doing anything for this album was pointless last year,” Orion Sun wrote on Facebook last night, announcing the show. “But I’m learning that there really isn’t anything more powerful than a changed mind.”

The sixteen-minute set, recorded at Rittenhouse Soundworks with Michael Cumming, features performances of three of Hold Space For Me‘s highlights: “Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me),” “Coffee For Dinner,” and “Sailing.” The songs are emotive and ethereal on the record, taking us to places of deep contemplation and vibrant beats, but they’re truly transformed by Omar’s Hat — the Philly collective featuring Austin Marlow on drums, Alejandro Utria on percussion, Manuel Arocho on bass, Eric Sherman on trumpet, Yesseh Furaha-Ali on sax, Michael Spearman on trombone, with Ajay Shughart and Larry Monroe Jr. on guitar, as well as Kayla Childs and Max Hoenig on keys.

These bold arrangements feature bright horn section fanfares, bracing drum fills, dreamy guitars and keyboard glissando. The energy is as impactful emotionally as we hear on the album, but it hits in a different way; the show’s dynamic spans a trippy saxophone solo from Ali on “Coffee For Dinner” that makes creative use of open space, to a total of “Sailing” that wraps with Orion Sun spitting bars and rocking dance moves with ferocity.

“this pandemic almost made me give up on my dreams,” she writes in the YouTube caption for the show. “f**k that! we came so far gotta keep good people in your circle and keep moving forward. thank you for holding space for me.”

Watch the Hold Space For Me live performance video below, and pick up a copy of the album now, via Mom and Pop Records.

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