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Reviews

The Orielles
Silver Dollar Moment Hayley Scott , February 16th, 2018 14:49

An idiosyncratic piece of perfect indie pop from Heavenly Recordings

The Orielles are a pop band in the purest, most unerring sense of the term. They play indie pop that’s informed by the past but which belongs entirely to now. Silver Dollar Moment is replete with hooks but it’s also filled with substance. Wiser than their tender years would suggest, this band’s various reference points - from Orange Juice’s blue-eyed soul to The Pastels’ gentle pop - would elude your average 17-year-old. ‘Old Stuff New Stuff’, for example, mixes 60s chamber pop with the band’s propensity for experimenting with dub and funk.

The Orielles defy indie pop logic by not making songs about romance and heartbreak. Instead they often borrow idiosyncratic and surreal themes from cinema (see single ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’, its title taken from Tarantino’s Death Proof, and ‘Let Your Dogtooth Grow’, inspired by Yorgos Lanthimos’ film Dogtooth). Their shunning of cliche doesn’t end there: ‘Sunflower Seeds’ navigates a path between psychedelia and shambling indie rock that’s as faithful to both genres as it is curiously idiosyncratic. Elsewhere, the minimal jazzy flourishes on ‘Liminal Space’ are sublime: Esme Dee Hand-Halford’s vocals add warmth and clarity to Sid’s leisurely but potent drumming style, and the subtle exploration of woozy electronics elicits a more atmospheric approach. The flute interjections on ‘Henry’s Pocket’ distinctly recalls The Pastels’ later, more jazz influenced output.

Silver Dollar Moment’s vibrancy is at odds with the current mood of the world, but it’s also a vital indication of where we’re at now in terms of indie music’s trajectory. It shakes off any negative connotations of modern indie, particularly in the ‘landfill’ sense of the word, and reclaims it. This is not a new development, of course - women have long been doing this in DIY scenes everywhere - but The Orielles’ success on this album only brings this perfect indie pop further out into the sunlight.

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