30th June 2017
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes – a guitar band is playing a gig in the back of a shoe store in Camden. Is someone, somewhere, trying to exhume the tired corpse of an old music scene? No, curb your cynicism – ‘cos the guitar band is called The Orielles, and they’re one of the best new groups to emerge from England’s dreaming this year.
The Orielles are Esmé (bass), Henry (guitar) and Sidonie (drums) and they hail from Halifax, and since signing to Heavenly Recordings they’ve released two of the most fun and musically complex singles to come from a guitar band in recent times, bubbling with the twisting rock compositions that you might reasonably expect from Television or Sonic Youth. Although The Orielles are about half the age that either of these bands were at their peak.
Indeed, performing live, a youthful reservation often peeks through their precocious technical abilities, and the band might even be dead ringers for your local sixth-form kids, the ones spending most of their time in the college practice room. Already you can sense their growing maturity as a band, from the slightly familiar, jangly indie pop of their earliest material, to the breath-taking singles they’ve recorded since signing to Heavenly, and it makes you eager for even more of the new stuff. Released earlier this year, ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ is a stunning, self-designated set closer, an 8-minute odyssey through various rhythm changes and modulations that still submits gleefully to their generation’s analgesic dependence on a danceable beat and a catchy melody.
Throughout the gig, the crowd mostly peaks at a respectful, if evidently impressed, rhythmic nodding, and its probably a far cry from how packed it’ll be when Warpaint play the same venue next week. But if this spectral north London – or the rest of the country for that matter – still has any lingering good taste for a home-grown guitar band, then The Orielles will be moving on to far bigger and greater things come the release of their debut album next February.