Hi Orlando! You’ve still not been able to play last year’s ‘A Quickening’ live yet - what can people expect when you finally give it an outing in October?
When we do the shows, it’ll all have changed because there’ll be another album. [The new] record’s finished and music’s gonna start coming out in the next few months, so that’ll get introduced to the set and it’ll be a balancing act, but a nice one.
Last year you said you weren’t sure what sort of musical project you’d do next - what form does the new album take?
It started as a continuation of ‘A Quickening’; I felt like I’d missed some crucial elements of that experience [becoming a parent] so that was the beginning of writing this record. The last one had a thematic routing, and this doesn’t so much. It has much more of an atmosphere, and I hope what it has is an overall feeling and a lightness to it and a sort of joy - that’s what I’ve been trying to get to.
What did you think you’d missed?
I’m very proud of the last record, but I think what it missed or didn’t exhibit enough was how much pleasure and joy and excitement I felt. It got stuck in the mud of apprehension and anxiety, and all these things I definitely was feeling but it wasn’t the complete picture. So that was the start of this new record, but then it became about taking a huge amount of pleasure from thinking, ‘How can I make this sound more uplifting or lighter?’.
I’d got stuck believing that the way to justify the amount of time a song takes is to focus on something complicated or difficult and try and make something positive out of that experience by making something new out of it - catharsis of sorts. But [this] is sort of the opposite; I refined kernels of good vibrations and would then think how I can cultivate that. And it’s been a real eye opener. The pleasure of making it, and how quickly it’s come together - I feel bowled over by how idiotic I must have been for so long to not enjoy that aspect of making music. This has been the most fun I’ve ever had making a record.
“I don’t think it’s a pop record, but I want it to be really satisfying and joyful.”
Have you made a pop record, Orlando?!
Maybe I have?! No, I don’t think it’s a pop record, but I wanted it to be really satisfying and joyful and a pleasure. I don’t think it’s even just brighter, I think it’s bright.
Have you been working with anyone to hone these new tricks?
I worked with a guy called Nathan [Jenkins] who makes music as Bullion, and I’ve got some fun people to sing on it but I’ll save that [information] for later…
Anything else in the works?
I’ve written music for a play at the National Theatre that’s coming out soon. It’s an adaptation of a film called Afterlife, and I think it’s quite an appropriate story for this time. I guess the music could be released as an EP - I’d really like for more people than can go and see a socially-distanced show to hear it.
More like this
Have a listen to the stunning collab now.
It follows the release of his second solo album ‘Hop Up’.
‘A Quickening’ found the former Maccabee ruminating on the more pensive aspects of parenthood. ‘Hop Up’ follows to show the more joyful side of the coin with a record rooted in lightness and pleasure.
An irresistibly likeable album, very much in the mould of its creator’s affable, mellow personality.