An acoustic ensemble based in North Carolina, Mandolin Orange visited the CMT studio over the summer to perform “House of Stone,” a reflective song from their latest album, This Side of Jordan. Listen closely and you’ll notice the lyrics approach spirituality in an unexpected way.
Andrew Marlin, who wrote the song, says the imagery was drawn from his memories of growing up in a Southern church. Since that time, he’s clearly thought about how that religious upbringing has affected his perspective as an adult.
“Growing up in the South, hymns were a common part of my childhood,” Marlin told CMT Edge. “My mother played piano for the church and so did her mother before that. Many of those old tunes refer to a mansion of gold that awaits all believers in heaven. ‘House of Stone’ is meant to be some kind of modern hymn that uses some of the same terminology to convey a contrary idea. To me, a mansion of gold seems too much like an infomercial for the afterlife.”
The group will play a hometown show in Warrenton, N.C., on Saturday (Oct. 12), followed by several CMJ showcases in New York City. Check out Mandolin Orange’s live version of “House of Stone.”