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Shuffle: For Rock Band Orange Animal, Music is About 'Singing Loud The Love You Can't Say'

From the left, Adam Thurman, John Ramsey, and Bill Derivan released their album "No Song Sick Hearts" May 26.
From the left, Adam Thurman, John Ramsey, and Bill Derivan released their album "No Song Sick Hearts" May 26.

Cleveland rock band Orange Animal released its second album this month that it says is all about "singing the love you can't say." Lawyers and friends John Ramsey and Adam Thurman founded the band in 2016. Singer-guitarist Ramsey calls it his personal project that grew from a hobby. 

Two lawyers and a Craigslist ad

Ramsey has played guitar for most of his life. He says he connected with Thurman, a drummer, at a work event and the two started playing together in his basement.

"We started working on some covers and getting our legs under us," Ramsey said. "My big push was I wanted to play originals. Thank goodness these guys were willing to follow along and really embraced it."

Ramsey says he went on Craigslist to find their bass player, Bill Derivan. In 2017, Orange Animal released "Gave It All Away" that Ramsey says was a way for them to be able to get out and play some shows in Akron and Cleveland. 

A personal project

Ramsey says his passion to make and perform music is inspired by his late mother.

"My mom passed at the end of 2012. She was a classically-trained pianist, and we had a piano in the house when I was a little kid," he said. "I never saw her play it. When she was dying, I learned that she was accepted to various music schools, and somehow I never had the opportunity to hear her play. And it's always been a mystery that I've been chasing."

"As I began to explore that more and more, it pushed me to keep writing music," he continued. "It became a personal project that I was carrying that torch and wanting to get up on that stage, as uncomfortable as it was."

Sing loud the love you can't say

Ramsey says Orange Animal's new album "No Song Sick Hearts" is more upbeat and polished than their debut. And he says the songs reflect one concept: Sing loud the love you can't say.

"There are things in our normal lives that we can't just simply express in regular conversation or prose. There are some things that music allows you explore and to sing out and to live and breathe. There's a quiet joy to it," he said.

Orange Animal performs Saturday, June 8, at Stella's in Cleveland

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Amanda Rabinowitz
Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. Her days begin before the sun comes up as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition, which airs on WKSU each weekday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio’s sports scene.