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The Orielles

Formed when they were still teenagers, the Orielles initially made music with the eagerness and abandon of youth, while also looking to the past for inspiration. The group's highly danceable sound on early releases like 2018's Silver Dollar Moment was informed by the lighter side of 1980s post-punk, the loose-limbed rhythms of Afro-funk, the trippy textures of late-'90s indie dance, and the sweet melodic sense of classic indie pop. Their ongoing growth as a band led them down artistic, more musically complicated routes, with records like 2022's Tableau exploring new recording techniques (like piecing together sampled fragments of sound) along with influences like techno and avant-garde improvisation. The Orielles formed in Halifax, England, when sisters Sidonie B and Esmé Dee Hand-Halford met Henry Carlyle Wade at a birthday party. Still in their teens, the threesome bonded over a love of '90s music (like the Pixies and Sonic Youth) and cinema, and began writing songs together. With Esmé on vocals and bass, Sidonie on drums, and Henry on guitar, the trio crafted a sound that brought in influences as far afield as Afro-pop, disco-funk, Madchester, and indie pop. They began releasing music in 2014, with the "Entity" single for Scruff of the Neck, the Hindering Waves EP for Cacti, and the cassette single "Yawn" for Swirly Records. The band stayed almost as busy in 2015, releasing two singles ("Space Doubt" and "Joey Says We Got It") while playing live and going to school. The Orielles only issued one record in 2016, the Jobin EP for Art Is Hard Records, but along the way they caught the attention of Heavenly Records, which signed them to a contract. Early in 2017, the group hit the studio with producer Marta Salogni to record their first single for Heavenly, "Sugar Tastes Like Salt." The nearly nine-minute track was a departure for the Orielles, as they expanded their sound and brought in a stronger dance music influence. It also got an Andrew Weatherall remix, something that definitely pleased the '90s-loving trio. They spent the summer playing festivals and in the studio with Salogni working on their debut full-length effort, Silver Dollar Moment. The album was a mix of previously released singles and newly recorded songs that captured the trio's youthful exuberance. It was released in early 2018, after which the band headed out on a sold-out tour of the U.K. The group added keyboardist Alex Stephens to their live band, and he joined them not long after as a full member. Once off the road, the Orielles began work on their second album, once again with Salogni behind the controls. The songs they brought to the sessions were inspired by a wider range of influences that included Turkish psych, Korean electro (they recorded a cover of Peggy Gou's "It Makes You Forget [Itgehane]" in late 2018), Italian film scores, and dance punk. Disco Volador was released in February 2020 by Heavenly, after which the band planned tours of the U.K. and the U.S. Both were canceled due to the global pandemic. Instead, the trio worked on an art film titled La Vita Olistica and hosted a monthly radio show, where they did a deep dive into genres they hadn't listened to much in the past. These pursuits informed their next album, as did a determination to go about things differently in the studio. Utilizing tools like samples, Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies, and Wadada Leo Smith's graphic scoring method, the band often improvised the music on the spot, then worked it into sparse and powerful songs that replaced the bubbly energy of earlier records with a studied grace. The resulting record, Tableau, was issued by Heavenly in October 2022.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo


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