From being “three weirdos in Halifax”, sisters Esmé and Sidonie Hand-Halford (bass and drums respectively) and their childhood friend Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar) have become the indie band to watch. “If I went to space, I might never come back”, confesses Esmé who provides solid bass and delicate vocals for The Orielles. After the drowsy, Stone Roses-influenced Silver Dollar Moment was released in 2018, this second off-the-wall record Disco Volador bounces from Turkish psych music à la Altin Gün to experimental Italian cinema, in order to further distance themselves from 90s guitar rock.
Two years is a long time when you’re on the cusp of your twenties, leaving the relative quiet of Halifax, West Yorkshire to go on tour in Europe. In the elapsed time, The Orielles have seen the arrival of Alex Stephens to play keyboard, a “highly educational” cover of Peggy Gou’s It Makes You Forget (Itgehane) which opened them up to dance music and a remix by the late Andrew Weatherall of their track Sugar Tastes Like Salt.
Recorded at Stockport’s Eve Studios with their producer Marta Salogni (Liars, Temples, Björk and The Moonlandingz), Disco Volador puts melody front and centre, turning old into new. “All the influences we had when writing this record were present when we recorded it, so we completely understood what we wanted this album to feel like and could bring that to fruition”, says the drummer.
With aerial 60s pop (Come Down on Jupiter), experimental disco (Space Samba (Disco Volador Theme)), 70s-style funk (Bobbie’s Second World, Euro Borealis), uptempo psychedelic (Rapid i, 7th Dynamic Goo) and Khruangbin-esque soaring tunes, it’s all top class. Bright, catchy and Qobuzissime.