How does a band approach making the infamous ‘difficult’ second album? For The Orielles, natural curiosity has been their driving force. “It’s quite diverse,” says drummer Sidonie B Hand-Halford of ‘Disco Volador’, released back in February.
Fans of the Halifax band – completed by Sid’s sister, lead vocalist / bassist Esmé Dee Hand-Halford, guitarist / vocalist Henry Carlyle Wade, and keyboardist Alex Stephens - will still find the hallmarks of their melodious, surf pop-inspired sound. The heady harmonies and shimmering guitars of 2018 debut ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ remain intact, but the group’s perspective has broadened. Single ‘Come Down on Jupiter’ is evidence of that: a sound that’s unmistakably theirs though spliced with jazz strokes and psych funk wig-outs. “Half of the album is quite spacey and atmospheric,” Sid explains. “But the other half has disco and boogie - and more dancey bangers.”
Those “dancey bangers” contribute to the album’s loose concept of escape. ‘Disco Volador’ can be interpreted, as Esme once explained, as “a UFO, an alien nightclub or how you feel when you fly; what happens to your body physically or that euphoric buzz from a great party.”
What’s that escape from? Political turmoil or something more personal? “It’s a bit of both,” explains Sid. “We’ve kind of said we’d avoid singing too much about what’s going on politically because there are a lot of bands that do that already, often in an aggressive way. We’re tackling these issues from a more surrealist standpoint [see anti-climate change paen ‘A Material Mistake’]. So we have this idea of it being a form of escapism: using dance music to escape reality.”
An important version of escapism for the band is exploring the world. This week they play their first ever US gig at New Colossus. “We are super excited,” says Sid. “New York’s always been quite a special place. A lot of music we love is from the city’s ‘70s underground dance scene based around Max’s Kansas City.”
As we speak Sid is returning from an arguably “escapist” holiday to Vienna where the group got drunk with Dutch band Altin Gün after attending a gig. “They cover traditional Turkish folk as well as psych songs, and they’re such an inspiring band,” says Sid. “I think we’re going to get more world influences like that in our next music.”
The Orielles are ready to make new scribbles on their musical map. Whoever said writing albums was so difficult?
See The Orielles live in the US at the following dates.
WHERE: Fred Perry Instore
FIND IT: 306 Grand St, Brooklyn
WHEN: Thursday 12th, 7pm
WHERE: DIY @ New Colossus
FIND IT: Berlin, 25 Avenue A
WHEN: Saturday 14th, 8.30pm
More like this
We’ve been pitching up around the city this week, and here’s how it went down.
We’ll be taking over New York’s Berlin Under A for the fest on Saturday 14th March.
A perfectly pleasant, but definitely passive listen.
The follow-up to their 2018 debut ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ will land of 28th February 2020.