Have you ever attended a concert and decided to skip the support acts? After all, they’re not who you’re there to see and one more drink in the bar is so tempting! If you have, I must say I think you missed out on some possibly brilliant music. I used to think that the support acts were just an unnecessary warm up to the main event, however, I have come to realize the error of my ways, and have since discovered some impeccable artists supporting others. This month’s Indie Idol is evidence of that. In 2019, I attended a Barns Courtney concert at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, and had looked up the support acts, Ulysses Wells and Will and the People, on Spotify before going in. Now I must admit, I was not entirely convinced of Will and the People’s music when I first heard it but after seeing them perform, in their underwear I might add, I was hooked. Their performance was incredibly energetic, charismatic and addictive, and I have since seen them again – most recently at Boardmasters festival just over a week ago. At which their performance was once again sublime and full of frontman Will Rendle’s usual antics – crowd surfing for example.
Hailing from Brighton, Will and the People formed in 2010 with brothers Will and Jamie Rendle (although Jamie joined later), Charlie Harman and Jim Ralphs and are considered by many as one of “the most down to earth bands, who appreciate every single one of their fans and put 110% into their live shows!”* It is with no doubt that Will and the People definitely go over and above with their gigs, the atmosphere is electric and shows tend to be a generally riotous experience, whether they’re the support or headline act, Will and the People will be a highlight of your night. The band have so far released four albums, with a new one promised for November, and it is difficult to classify Will and the People’s music into a single genre as every song is so distinct from each other that the variation is like a signature of the group. One of the band’s earliest tracks, Lion in the Morning Sun, for instance, has some very obvious pop music vibes but is full of ska and reggae fervour, with a strong but fast paced walking beat, almost reminiscent of the ska-punk or 2 tone genre that rose to popularity with bands like The Specials or The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, whereas more recent tracks like Justify, a track released in September of last year, has a more emotional rock ballad sound merged with rap elements and ethereal aspects similar to that of the band Evanescence.
Of the band’s work, the song that stands out most to me as something special is the 2019 single Gigantic. Lyrically, the track tells the story of love, specifically familial love and how the people you choose to surround yourself with and those who love you can make the world better than anything. It discusses the sentiment that you would do anything for your family and friends, as evidenced in the first lyric, “I could be there for you, if you want me to,” as well as, the idea that even if you’re feeling down or lonely you will always have your family and friends to fall back on, just as they would have you, no matter how far away you are. The accompanying music video effortlessly depicts the warmth and sentimentality of the song, as it is presented as a sort of home video, going from door to door collecting relatives, young and old, to go to a large family get together. Hearing Will call his grandmother in the opening seconds really elevates that feeling of the music video and overall creates a human connection with the audience as you almost feel like you are part of the family.
Lucky for all who love them, Will and the People have a new single coming out on the 27th. In two days! Animal, a long awaited song that has been all over the world in its production stages, is sure to blow your mind. And! To add to the excitement, are on tour around the UK right now, and then all over Europe in the first few months of 2022.
*Quote from Tom Embling, who saw WATP on the 22nd in Bristol, where they, once again, performed in underwear. The tour wardrobe must be very compact!
If you’ve heard of Frances Forever, or read Why We Love: Frances Forever, you may already be familiar with chloe moriondo (stylised in lower case). The reason being, Frances Forever re-released ‘Space Girl’ to feature chloe moriondo. The change in lyrics in the verse that chloe sings adds an extra dimension to the catchiness that was already there.
In essence, chloe moriondo is an 18 year old singer-songwriter from Detroit, Michigan. I discovered her a couple years ago, back when ‘Lemon Boy’ by cavetown was big in my world. He helped produce her debut album that she released at 16. I envisage them to have quite a fraternal relationship, with older brother Robbie seeing success blooming in chloe and striving to help her achieve it. Back then, she was a shy closeted ukulele girl on YouTube. Famous for her red cheeks, button nose, round glasses and yellow walls, she was the embodiment of cute and sweet. Her voice seemed effortless and accompanied her shyness like sugar in a cup of tea.
Since then, she seems to have developed her musical style. What started off as covers became original content, which continues to mature. She has briefly spoken about her issues when it comes to the duality and dichotomy of being famous whilst still in full-time education. However, I would argue that this has improved the strength and honesty of her music. Nowadays, her innocence has been replaced with outward subtle neediness. She screams to be seen, heard and understood. Teenage angst bleeds out of her single ‘Girl on TV’. The music video depicts the insecurity exaggerated by social media and her wish to be what she sees everyone else be.
There’s undoubtedly a certain nostalgia listening to music written by a teenager. Her content is relatable in a far-off sense for most, but remains convincing. This includes her latest song ‘I Eat Boys’, released today, which will be played on Annie Mac’s Future Sounds at 6p.m. Yet another angsty bop filled with feminist hope mixed with lesbian sympathy. It has potential to become one of those songs that you play on repeat until you are sick of them. Personally, I will definitely be listening to it until I know all the lyrics.
Very recently I was shown a live video session of Hello Yello and immediately I was hooked. If you ask me what music I’ve been addicted to this month it’s just been Hello Yello. Well, them and Harry Styles’ solo albums but that’s a story for another time. Now I’ll be honest right off the bat, I barely know anything about this band, and I’ve been looking online to find out more about them but as of right now I’m at a loss, so I’m going to let the music speak for itself here, and start you off with the track that got me addicted.
Like wow? Like not just really good songwriting, but a completely rounded and well-polished live performance. That was Sins off their 2019 EP Love Wins which is just banger after banger. It’s also a very refreshing sound because you can hear just how much inspiration has gone into making their identity, to the point where it’s not entirely obvious what Hello Yello’s favourite bands are, which again today is a real rarity. Sure you can guess and hear some genre-specific influences, but it’s still all left ambiguous, with a driving force that teases you to listen to more and more.
So attempting to box up their sound somehow, whether you’re a fan of Lil Peep, Steve Lacy, Weston Estate or any of the emo bands you loved back in the ’00s, Hello Yello is an identity that should just automatically be familiar with you. The way they combine evocative vocals, glistening guitar parts, these thicc bass lines and warm drums, it’s almost like each band member wants the music to do different things, and the way it ties together creates this wonderous sound that’s genuinely fresh like I cannot stress how new this sound feels for some reason. It’s really throwing old school rock with modern-day indie to the forefront in the best way possible.
The same year Hello Yello dropped My Life As A Teenage Robot, a double single that just delivers more of what they set out to offer with their first EP. There’s some real talent here, you could pair these tunes with anything from artists such as The Garden or Blac Rabbit and they’d fit in snug.
There’s a toxic trait rock music advocates have these days which can be summed up by, none o’ yall know what you want. It either sounds too much like one band or doesn’t sound enough like the greats of the past (it’s deeper than that but that’s me simplifying it drastically). The idea to save rock music is this backwards idea that started because rock music suddenly left the mainstream. But that has never meant that rock music was dead? (cough Adam Levine cough) Artists now more than ever are fusing the quintessential sounds of rock music with other genres they’ve been brought up on, or that they’re surrounded and inspired by, and Hello Yello is one band that is completely renovating the very DNA of rock music for the 21st century. It’s a genuine blend.
Rock/Indie lovers, eat your hearts out because Hello Yello are here to play loud and proud, and you’re going to absolutely love it.
If you’re looking for a cinematic journey to detach yourself from the current mundane routine of the world’s lockdown (who isn’t?!), look no further than the smooth, moody, unfiltered odyssey of King Hannah. The Liverpool based duo have had an anything but conventional start to their musical journey together. Developing from Craig’s admiration of Hannah’s solo performances, to working as colleagues in a bar, to finally writing together to produce a sound rich in realism and tailored back production.
Hannah Merrick and Craig Whittle released their first single ‘Crème Brûlée’ back in September 2020 and since then released their first EP in November 2020 titled ‘Tell Me Your Mind and I’ll Tell You Mine’. The EP is centred around the details of the everyday, with quite a descriptive nature to Hannah and Craigs lyrics. Starting with an almost ominous prelude (‘And Then out of Nowhere, it Rained.’), it’s like entering into a new and uncharted world. Followed by a more humorous take with ‘Meal Deal’, taking us through the normality of a property viewing, while contemplating whether to make a housemate out of the arachnid inhabitant. Towards the end of the song, Hannah’s vocals are like flickers of light through an immersive jungle canopy of atmospheric sound and smoky instrumentals.
This is then followed by a song, which really epitomises the times we live in. Named after Mindhunter’s ‘Bill Tench’, the song carries some added energy creating a more relaxed and lo-fi feel. This really emphasises the depth to King Hannah’s production, intensifying the feeling of being taken on a journey through this EP. The emphatic ballad of the duo’s first single then follows, becoming much more expressive with drawn-out lyrics and a jaw-dropping guitar solo that you never want to end.
We are led out by a more reflective and vibrant track, ‘The Sea Has Stretch Marks’, brought to a close by an outro called ‘Reprise (Moving Day)’, combining some of the EP highlights with a muffled radio vibe.
If there is a more emblematic band for the times we live in I am yet to find them. King Hannah’s music has been a refreshing reminder that we can escape the madness and once again be enveloped by creative production techniques and bold sound. The duo has already made an impact on the stage, and now following their formal release this past November, I for one am really looking forward to seeing them back in front of the lights and creating more insightful explorations.
Sinead O’Brien is the Irish ‘punk poet’ that thrives on the edge; denying herself of anything cosy or familiar and instead opting for a ‘heavy heavy, busy busy life’ consisting of travel and new adventures.
Always doing things differently, her spontaneous attitude and lifestyle result in a lot to be grateful for; helping her to deliver marvellous songs, exploring the beauty in darkness, that we can’t help but love and believe that you will too.
Born in Dublin and raised in Limerick, the singer has never felt much of an attachment to a particular place but has always sensed a calling from further afield. This free spirit and ability to adapt to new ways and places feed their way into her consistently evolving songs. Using expansive language and sounds that vary from punk and folk to a hint of soul and funk, she expertly provides tracks that take you on a journey where, just like her, you’re kept on your toes every step of the way.
Despite her desire for re-location though, there’s absolutely no denying O’Brien’s Irish roots. The moment that she opens her mouth, she has you hostage; her divine accent delivering mesmerising words with equal parts grit and beauty. Painting a picture with every line, including desolate wonders like ”I feel like the daytime chasing the night” to relatable longings for motivation with “Days like this are the wildest way, to tame the flames, to get the head to higher…” she always leaves you longing for more.
O’Brien is currently living (but most definitely not ‘settled’) in London; the city where her real musical journey began. Upon her move, she fully embraced her desire for fresh experiences by taking a page out of Jim Carrey’s book and simply saying ‘yes’ to any opportunities that arose. Fortunately, for music fans, that included attending a spoken word night in Brixton where she first performed her poems up on stage. Subsequently, the natural lyricist joined forces with current bandmates Julian Hanson and Oscar Robertson and began to put her words to equally grand music; turning dreams and expressive thoughts into songs.
Her talent in doing so was undeniable right off the bat which led to Chess Club Records; the same label as fellow alternative rockers Wolf Alice, signing O’Brien up. She then began to release her hypnotising tracks with them, before stepping up a level from South London pubs when king of the punk poetry game John Cooper Clarke invited her on tour. The two immediately hit it off (which is no surprise when you listen to each of their gutsy works), and, thanks to JCC O’Brien was introduced to Mark E. Smith who she describes as one of her “most valuable references ever”.
As well as meeting one inspiration (who showed her the work of another), the tour with Cooper Clarke was also an opportunity to try a stint of something different once again, as like him she performed solo. After doing so she was told by a gig-goer that they could still “hear the music in it” which both she and myself completely agree with. Even without physical music present, you’re always touched by its essence thanks to her rhythm and heart, which is testament to the skill she has for her craft; consistently turning words into something so much more.
Her gifts don’t just stop there either, describing herself as incredibly determined from a young age, she pushed herself to excel in a range of areas both academic and creative- which even resulted in her moving to Paris to work for Dior. Just like her Irish upbringing, this motivation and affinity for style are also evident in her music; producing ambitious tracks that are sleek and well-tailored with a real artistic edge.
A sparse feeling is present in Sinead O’Brien’s songs, similar to that heard on Unknown Pleasures where space is intentional and meaningful; a bold move that not many even attempt to pull off. Each track contains an aura of magic, whisking you away on a different experience, that can vary from a trip to the dance floor on the snappy rhythmed ‘Taking on Time’ to dark dreams thanks to the strutting guitar and twinkle of keys on ‘A List of Normal Sins’. In doing so, she has laid the foundations to progress in any direction she wishes and seamlessly built her way up to releasing recent EP ‘Drowning In Blessings’; which to listen to feels like exactly that.
O’Brien’s intense voice cuts straight through the musical foundations of Drowning In Blessings’ tracks, her strong delivery inducing chills and making every word hit. Exploring the cynical side of modern culture in the likes of single ‘Most Modern Painting’ she generates such existential excitement with her observations on this and ‘Roman Ruins’ that you can’t help but feel riled up and ready to rock. She perfectly balances this edge and gloom with slightly more gentle elements though; resurfacing distant childhood memories of lullabies and carousels on ‘Fall With Me’ and closing with ‘Strangers in Danger’, her packed song on relationships between people and life- a perfect opportunity for reflection after the journey.
Filled to the brim with talent and creating songs jammed with ideas that are not only personal to her but can also touch each listener, O’Brien creates worlds within her work, and I firmly believe that it’s about time you’re swept away into them.
Capturing an essence of nostalgia whilst simultaneously looking to the future, Outer Stella Overdrive are a band that you need to be rocking out to, right at this very moment. The London lads Command your attention with contagious tunes, a charged vibe and an attitude that they’re ready to take on anything; stating that they want to ‘open up the industry’ when they checked in with TW.
Dazzling with a soon to be trade-mark grin, Raff Law thrashes lead guitar whilst belting out their passionate lyrics and is joined on vocal duties by Kelvin Bueno who also provides their bouncing basslines. Accompanying Kelvin on the heavy rhythm section is unwavering drummer Rudy Albarn, and Amin El Makkawi brings a magic flare on keys. Collectively, they’re creating a raucous sound that’s managed to tap into something we’ve been missing on the current UK rock scene; bringing a real boost of individual energy and undeniable excitement.
Channelling a proper rock approach, they have a raw and creative production sound that harkens back to the iconic music that they were raised on. In turn, this style helps to fuse their classic punk attitude with the fresh, forward-thinking injection that they bring to the table, thanks to growing up in modern London.
The sound encapsulated is big and bold; spanning genres with rocking riffs, a funky rhythm and even surreal psychedelic jams. On top of this, they pack in witty but thought-provoking lyrics (as discussed below) in addition to erupting choruses that fill their songs with even more passion and leave you ready to both rave and revolt.
Their latest single Camel Blue is out today, and ahead of the release Raff, Rudy and Kelvin chatted to TW about their evolution, lockdown life and what else they have coming your way…
A: It’s hard for your music to be defined by just one genre as you seem to effortlessly integrate such an array of styles. How would you summarise your sound in a few words?
KELVIN BUENO: I would say two words. I’d say ‘Outer Stellar’.
RAFF LAW: A few words are so hard, especially when I’m writing it but I’d say ‘powerful’ and ‘imaginative’.
RUDY ALBARN: I would say ‘our life’. And ‘true’, true is also a big, big keyword.
A: There’s clearly a real variety of influences thrown into the mix, is this a conscious effort and do you take any inspiration from outside the world of music?
RAFF: We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from just London, in the ‘Out + About’ video, we shot a few weeks ago, we touched on how London inspires us. In the project that we’re releasing in the form of singles at the moment, it’s like the epitome of what we’ve been living and breathing the last few years. Our experiences and things that don’t sit well with us.
RUDY: What we’re going through at each point, I think it’s a collective feeling between all of us. We’re just throwing things out. It’s a natural exploration and just comes to us in whatever way it wants to develop.
KELVIN: It’s almost an unconscious effort. None of us try to make any music of a certain style. We just make what we want to make and do what we want to do.
A: Do you guys have a particular way of working and have the recent months had an impact on this?
RAFF: We have a formula but it’s changed because of lockdown. For the past two years, we’d write songs together three or four times a week. Outside of that, I’d be writing a few lyrics on my phone and shit, but I wouldn’t be playing much music outside. Lockdown forced me to have to play the acoustic guitar for like three months without the guys.
KELVIN: We found that balance of our process. We write in a setup, instrument environment, but we also go away and write in isolation, then come back with lyrics and build from there. It’s just the rawest form of songwriting there is; no technology, just vibing together.
RUDY: Oh yes, it fired us up in that time to be like, ‘shit, we got to do this’. A thing that was cool was when we started rehearsing, instead of playing the songs that we just recorded, the last time we were together, we were like, ‘let’s just write new ones’.
A: How do Outer Stella Overdrive want to change the game?
KELVIN: First of all, put this music back where it needs to be, band music at the top. In the industry, everything sounds like it’s in one place, in one lane. We just want to open up everyone’s ears, open up the industry and opportunity. Inspire the next generation to be like- “I want to pick up a guitar”.
RAFF: I think the process that we have; mates writing music together, it’s so much fun. I personally think it lies in its enjoyment. Our shows are all about energy and positivity and having a good time which is especially true right now when we can’t play shows and the government are telling ballerinas to go cyber.
RUDY: I feel like a lot of music at the moment is solo artists and producers and I think having a group of musicians all play together is a completely different vibe that’s a special thing missing in the industry at the moment. I think it adds another element to our music, just the way we write and, like (Raff) said about everyone getting together, seeing friendly faces.
A: You’ve been putting out some class tunes the past few years now and it’s exciting to see that you’re regularly topping the ‘Punk List’ on Spotify these days. Could you tell us a bit about what the band has in store for us next?
RAFF: Three Piece has recently come out and we have some video content made with Luke Scully (the Creator of ‘Out + About’) to go with that coming soon.
KELVIN: We’ve also got two more singles to come (the first being ‘Camel Blue’ that’s out today). Then we’re going to drop an EP which consists of these last four singles that we’ve dropped and a few more tracks. It kind of encompasses our journey up to this point.
Then next year, we’re going to have a proper project for you that we’ve just recorded. The first EP that you can look forward to is ‘Counting Self-Doubt’, which will come at the end of this year. And that will change the game.
A: How do you feel you’ve evolved in your musical journey so far?
KELVIN: I think we’ve evolved so much that it isn’t natural. It’s been three years and we’ve really been patient with it. We haven’t just been trying to pump everything out, go big straight away and sign to whoever, wherever we can. We’ve just kept ourselves to ourselves and grown.
You’ll see the progression in the music from what’s out right now, to what we’re about to release, to those coming out next year. We’ll just let the music speak for itself in terms of that.
RAFF & RUDY: Amen.
A: If you could recruit any music musician dead or alive into the band would you go for why?
RAFF: I’m going for Peter Green.
KELVIN: So strong. Ah, shit. Yeah, it would be.
RUDY: Well yeah, I wouldn’t want another drummer in the band so I’m cool man.
KELVIN: I would recruit fuckin Janis Joplin just to do some squeals in the background.
RUDY: We could do a feature or a little project.
RAFF: Yeah, that would be groovy.
A: I haven’t been fortunate to catch Outer Stella Overdrive live yet but from videos I’ve seen, it looks like you create an insane atmosphere. Would you say that you’re more in your element performing live or recording the studio?
RAFF: We’re in such different states of mind. In our live performances, we try to play our songs with as much of a high energy as possible and put on a performance. I love getting the crowd involved, whether that’s getting them to do certain dancing or callbacks. I think if you make everyone feel welcome and part of it, it makes it more memorable. You want everyone to remember that gig, that first time they saw you play.
KELVIN: In the studio, we’re actually perfectionists and so precise, so like Raff said we’re in such a different state of mind. Performance-wise we’re willing to sacrifice some of the details that only musicians would notice, to put on a show and just get everyone going crazy with us.
RUDY: I’d say from a live perspective, you’re in a different mindset where you’ve got something to do and that’s the goal at the end of the day. In the studios, you can be more open and absorb more without having to go to that certain place.
A: Many of your lyrics make bold statements that seem to come from a real personal place. Do you have any favourites that you’ve written?
RAFF: Personally, I feel like the lyrical journey is a whole different experience in itself and I think the best lyrics that we’ve written are what we’ve done in lockdown. As a band, we’ve realised that if we write more fifty-fifty, our songs come from two different personal points of view and life experiences.
KELVIN: It’s much more interesting. Let’s pick a line of something you’ve written and I’ve written.
RAFF: ‘Lost track of time, drowning my sorrows down the line, signing my life away for five minutes of comfort. It’s a fact of mine, that I much prefer the night when the darkness hides the light that shows discomfort’.
KELVIN: In terms of real powerful, moving shit, I think the starting verse in Three Piece-’Another day in London Town, where you can get stuck up and it can get gory. Feds pulling anything that’s brown cos they work for the Tories. So I keep my head right down cos they got it in for me’.
RAFF: To end on this, the lyrics on the singles and the project that we have coming out next year are so bold and the message is so clear. We touch on mental health, we talk about being locked up and not feeling free, our anger towards the government and how they haven’t been thinking about the youth and creatives…
KELVIN: We talk about our personal philosophies and ways of viewing life, a lot of the tracks are quite reflective.
ALL: Peace out from OSO
Check out Outer Stella Overdrive’s brand new single Camel Blue and their other top tracks on Spotify now
Slacker rock superstar Oscar Lang is back with a brand new track that really nails in the new psychedelic gritty rock combo we were gifted with in Hand Over You Head in September. The cosmic hobo soundscape here completely lifts you out of your shoes, a wall of noise to rock your body till the cows come home. Lang announcing a brand new EP (with ‘Antidote..’ being the title track), was exactly what I needed to hear amongst the misery of the UK’s second lockdown.
The track definitely lives up to its name, after listening to it, I was the complete opposite of bored. Whatever Lang does to mix his music is always astounding and the new track is no exception. Something in the way his voice becomes buried within the instrumentation just blows your mind. ‘Antidote’ has a heavier and more brooding vibe, expelling so much nostalgia for mid-90s rock with such a filthy sound.
Lang said in a recent interview about the upcoming EP “I wanted to get a little darker with this EP but continue with the sound of the previous one. I feel like with the last one I really found a style of music that I love and am just excited to play. So this EP was all about developing that sound further.” And thus the stadium rocker Antidote to Being Bored was born and the EP to follow on December 4th. I think we’re all praying this will be the soundtrack of a post lockdown life, a glimmer of hope to look forward to.
There’s not much I can say aside from the fact it’s an absolute banger, the guy knows how to write a mega tune. I’ve had this song on repeat for about an hour now and my sandwich has gotten cold as I’ve been so immersed in the rapid ecstasy of ‘Antidote’. Just listen to the song, it’s a beautiful thick mess of noise. If you could fuse the sounds of Oasis’ ‘Morning Glory’ with Interpol’s ‘Marauder’ and put them in the Oscar Lang blender, you’d have this masterpiece.
So start adding to your playlists, and check out your local record shop to see where you can pre-order your copy because it’s going to be a stomper you’ll have to own.
‘Antidote to Being Bored’ Tracklist: 1. Antidote to Being Bored 2. That Wasn’t What I Said 3. Pretty Princess 4. Red Cherry Chapstick 5. Something Has Changed
Evoking space-age dreams with their bright bops, The Orielles are a funky fresh band that you absolutely need to be listening to. In fact, scrap that. I’d say the word ‘experiencing’ is far more apt than simply ‘listening’ as their tracks are so engrossing, they’re a vessel for escaping reality…
Taking you on an adventure through the decades they stop off in the bright psychedelic 60s, have a boogie in the 70s and even a cheeky trip to explore 90s acid house, as well as blasting forward into another time and dimension with their futuristic synth sounds.
It’s no wonder that Heavenly Recordings; the same label boasting talent we love from Saint Etienne to Working Men’s Club, have these guys added to their fantastic roster. The Orielles boast the sweetest sounding melodies since Sarah Cracknell and a perfect balance of modern and classic just like WMC, whilst keeping everything uniquely their own; ticking all of the boxes for another Heavenly band destined for greatness.
The group consists of sisters Esmé Dee Hand-Halford on lead vocals/ bass and Sidonie B Hand-Halford on drums alongside friends Alex Stephens on Keys and Henry Carlyle Wade on guitar and backing vocals (providing a deeper undertone to Esmé’s gentle singing approach). Hailing from Yorkshire, they’ve been putting out singles since 2015 which really helped them to gauge direction before releasing debut album ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ in 2018.
Vibrant and charming, their first LP stands out in the sea of standard indie. Their key to doing so appears to be teasing you with that familiar formula we’re so accustomed to hearing but giving it a twist; thus subverting your expectations. Take Sunflower Seeds, for example, kicking off with a strong and cheery riff followed by thumping drum beats, it instantly captures your attention (in a way that almost seems too good to be true). However, it doesn’t stay linear and instead fades into a slow psychedelic squish that bands like Post Animal would be proud of, flipping the happy-go-lucky intro on its head.
They further prove their capability of making their mark on things by not only giving you brit-pop dreams like Mango but also more mellow notes in the laid back Liminal Spaces. As well as this, they also display great lyricism inspired by life, literature and philosophy on their tracks, with an abundance of stand-out lines on Henry’s Pocket. A song about trying to start afresh but being trapped by the past, it features vivid lines like “Trying to eat a moment and regurgitate it back up like you used to. We just hang in a web connecting us to past, present and future”.
Silver Dollar isn’t all that The Orielles have to offer either; displaying a real growth in confidence upon the release of their second album ‘Disco Volador’ put out earlier this year. Although I’d never bore of hearing Esmé’s melodies complimenting their funky sound the bands first record doesn’t quite boast the greatest exploration in tone. However, their follow up puts this point to bed with more variance in the delivery of lyrics and exploding instrumentals. Each track truly comes to life, all effortlessly cool with an airy quality. Further deviating from the mainstream sound produced by many current bands there’s a real retro essence at its core, layered with a forward-thinking distortion to create their own vibrant universe.
The album starts with Come Down On Jupiter, a song starting with a hint of Pulp’s darker records à la ‘This Is Hardcore’ that’s then perfectly juxtaposed by the soft melodies introduced into the mix. Sneakily, they then go on to build the track until you find yourself listening to a pop song that still maintains an edge with strutting guitars and more assertive vocals. Continuing to defy your initial anticipations, Memoirs of Miso’s simple lyrics of ’Falling in love’ float around as you drift away into a technicolour vortex. You’re then caressed by a gentle rhythm and drifting saxophone before it bursts back, bringing you into the room, ready to dance again.
Speaking of dancing, Memoirs certainly isn’t alone as single Bobbi’s Second World is bound to have you on your feet; delivering a groovy strut with its bopping bassline, throwing in some fun backing vocals and a sprinkle of sound effects. It’s a tale of turning a blind eye to reality and getting lost in your own head; something I often find myself doing in general but even more so to The Orielles tracks which are pure fuel for the imagination. Summarising Disco Volador is its own ‘theme’ Space Samba which captures the essence of the whole album; beaming and euphoric with a bit of sass to ensure that you don’t fall too far into the dreams induced.
Not only are the band ahead of their time with their indie evolution, but they also look like they truly have a gift for seeing into the future with the line ‘Isolation, room for creation’ being repeated on Sugar Tastes Like Salt; their single released back in 2017. The song that originally caught my attention, ‘Sugar’ not only predicted our 2020 life but also hits with attitude. Featuring upbeat punches, trippy guitar and sinister beats it’s an 8-minute exploration that showcases their capabilities in producing cosmic soundscapes and is a great introduction to the group.
With every one of The Orielles tunes encapsulating a little bit of celestial magic, I’m more than keen to see what else they have coming our way. Sadly, I don’t appear to have their seeming power to do so but based on merit have great faith that it will be something special, so watch this space.
If you’re currently missing proper, atmosphere-filled nights out (and let’s be honest, who isn’t given the current state of the world?) then fear not as I’ve found the perfect antidote and their name is Working Men’s Club.
I recently read The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club by Peter Hook and thanks to the part-owner/bassists amusing accounts and vivid imagery, craved nothing more than to experience the iconic venue back in the day. However, I reluctantly came to terms with the fact that that was never going to happen and so decided to seek out the next best thing- some top acid tunes.
I listened to everything that I could find from the time but having grown up in the home of the club it was all quite familiar so didn’t fully satisfy this newfound buzz; I needed something fresh and exciting that still contained the original heart. This was harder to come across than I’d first anticipated but finally had a Hallelujah moment at the beginning of this month when Working Men’s Club released their self-titled debut album and answered all of my prayers.
I was hooked (pardon the pun) from the second that opening track Valley’s first kicked off but at the 1.50 mark (0.30 in the video should check out below) something really special happened when the pounding bass cuts for a synth riff just before the lyrics kick in. In that moment I felt the closest that I believe I ever will to first experiencing the height of the movement back in the 90s and from then on I was in a trance for the rest of the record; treated to further squelching acid infusions as well as many more musical delights…
Falling Somewhere between the two bands that helped to fund the legendary ‘Hac’, Working Men’s Club clearly have a post-punk edge (just give Cook a Coffee a listen) but despite having a natural ability for creating this sound they didn’t play it easy and simply follow the classic Joy Division route; instead incorporating synth and electro to give things a New Order-esque spin.
It would be a crime to only liken these guys to other bands though (no matter how great) as they seem to be exploring everything on the spectrum in between and actually credit the Detroit house scene as major influences. The result is their own new sound that can leave you charged and ready to dance one minute then lost and daydreaming the next.
Encapsulating the sounds that I grew up with but bringing something from my generation into the mix, I felt a kindred spirit in the band. There was something in the name and listening to their first few tracks that gave me the feeling that they were fellow Northerners (and once I saw that their third was titled John Cooper Clarke I had absolutely no doubt about it). I figured that this might have also contributed to that close connection because despite being from Yorkshire rather the home of the punk-poet and FAC51, things growing up in Todmorden feel just as small and grey (but equally hopeful).
Like all great bands from the North, you can really hear this in their sound; the bleakness and claustrophobia in lead singer Sydney Minsky-Sargeant’s lyrics; being ‘trapped inside a town’ ‘running out of time’ but also the sense of working pride and excitement that there’s something beyond, in the sounds that they’re backed by.
Minsky-Sergeant is now the only original band member left standing but at the fresh age of just 19, commanding you to watch him in his SOCIALISM print t-shirt he’s definitely not backing down any time soon. Originally joined by guitarist Giulia Bonometti and drummer Jake Bogacki the first line-up released debut single Bad Blood in 2019 which gained comparisons to the Totally Wiredband The Fall and flows into B-Side Suburban Heights, a song filled with a jangly Smith’s-like sound. The tracks were greeted with great acclaim but success didn’t mean that Syd was ready to settle and he eagerly continued to explore and develop.
The fired-up front-man gravitated towards a new electronic noise however, this wasn’t for everyone and led to the departure of Bogacki, whilst Bonometti also moved on to focus on a solo career rather than the evolution of WMC. This, in turn, forced him to change things up even more than anticipated; sequentially swapping out the drum kit for a machine and expanding the club’s membership to three new musicians in the form of bassist Liam Ogburn, Mairead O’Connor on keys, guitar and vocals and Rob Graham joining Syd on guitar and synth.
Together they took on this new angle drawing them in; each member boldly bringing their own flourish and when combined with production from Ross Orton- the same Yorkshireman behind tracks from the Arctic Monkeys (and rather ironically The Fall), bedroom-recorded demos were transformed into a well-polished LP.
Wise beyond their years, you can already hear that the band know what music they want to make and have a great skill for executing it. The tracks on their album come together to create a cohesive experience but each is individually fresh with a mix of elements.
There’s the Stand out Acid House infusion on the likes of Tomorrow and plenty of upbeat rhythm in White Rooms and People. In addition to this optimistic sound, you’ll also find balance in a darker side; where they channel the grit that’s sung about on Teeth in its grunge guitar and evoke doom in the striking beats of Be My Guest.
Also incorporated is a touch of afrobeat, funk and even indie on Outside where they sing about reminiscing in the sunshine, delivering lyrics about a ‘technicolour daydream’ whilst hardly needing any words at all on the pulsating A.A.A.A…That isn’t all either, as just when you think they’ve proven their capability they top things off with Angel, a 12-minute journey filled with swooping psychedelic sounds that creates a deservingly epic finale.
Speaking the honest truth and producing music that’s simultaneously nostalgic and now, they’re only one album in and hard not to love. Although they might have captured the sound of the North and named themselves after the places they originally strived to play in, Working Men’s Club look well and truly set to take on the wider world.