In a week when there hasn't been the flux of new releases that had us all excited last week, the one outstanding diamond in the gloom has got to be The Orielles debut album, Silver Dollar Moment released today on Heavenly recordings.
I've had my eye on The Orielles (an extremely young, fresh faced trio from Halifax) for over a year now, my attention being caught by their gutsy decision to release a debut single, Sugar Tastes like Salt, lasting nearly 9 minutes. I remember thinking this better be damn good if I'm a) going to give up 9 minutes of my life to listen to it and b) give up 9 minutes of my 60 minute radio show to play it. I ended up playing it on repeat and at least twice on the radio show and telling everyone I knew to listen to the damn thing, that's how much it impressed me.
The trio, consisting of sisters Esme and Sidonie Hand-Handford and their friend Henry Wade have a combined age of just 56 and while Silver Dollar Moment has obviously been the result of several years hard graft, it has something of a freshness and naivety about it as if they just sat down in the garage one night and banged it out and it's none the worse for that.
The Orielles' sound has been described by various reviewers as C86 (which if you didn't know is the name of a cassette released in 1986 by NME featuring all the shambling indie pop rock guitar bands of the time and has since evolved into shorthand for a guitar-based musical genre characterised by jangling guitars and melodic power pop song structures, although other musical styles were represented on the tape.) I can see why the allusion has been made, it's not hard to picture a young Tony Wilson being entranced by this group and they would have fitted very nicely into the factory stable. In-fact although they cite their influences as Sonic Youth and the Pixies, in all honesty nothing in this album comes even close to the melancholy despair of existence sound of either of those bands and for me they conjured up shades of New Order in their kind of quirky jangly pop meets rebellious youth sound.
The album succeeds where many current guitar bands imitating 1980s Brit pop have failed in that it adds an extra dimension, it's not just a lame copy. The album really takes you on a journey of various moods and genres ranging from the opening tracks Mango and Old Stuff, New Stuff, 1990's Madchester rave scene vibe, through the Pink Floydesque The Sound of Liminal Spaces to the jazzy 48 Percent and the funky Nile Rogers inspired sound of single Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)
There is a definite gear change on the more moody melancholic Henry's Pocket and Borracherro Tree and the stand out tracks of I Only Bought it for the Bottle and Let Your Dog Tooth Grow are nothing short of anthemic and perhaps the best indicators of the future promise of this fledgling band.
As a debut album this is spine tingling in its promise and their creativity and innovation in reanimating old fashioned indie guitar music should surely set them on an upward projectory in 2018.
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