The Orielles – live at The Biggest Weekend, Belfast – BBC 6 Music – March 25, 2018 –
Back to The Biggest Weekend, Belfast 2018 with a set from The Orielles. The Orielles formed while still in high school and firmly in their teens. They initially got together via a shared love for 90s music (Pixies and Sonic Youth, among others) and managed to grab a lot of attention for what was a very danceable sound with tons of energy and passion. They started releasing ep’s in 2014 and eventually caught the eye of Heavenly Records who signed them and have so far got two albums to their credit.
The group’s highly danceable sound is informed by the lighter side of ’80s 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 debut album, 2018’s Silver Dollar Moment, saw them already in full stride as a band, and 2020’s Disco Volador expanded on their template by adding new sonic elements and a healthy dose of lyrical weirdness.
Early in 2017, they 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 album, Silver Dollar Moment. The record 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 trio added keyboardist Alex Stephens to their live band, and he joined them not long after as a full member.
Once off the road, they began work on their second album, once again with Salogni working 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 toured the U.K. and the U.S.
Their appearance at The Biggest Weekend is loaded with energy and spirit and it more than compensates for the vocal deficiencies that can be a bit (admittedly) jarring. I think the monitors had something to do with it, but it does straighten out by the end of the set.
Still – a band with a bright future and a lot of positive reaction and glowing reviews. Rumor has it they are coming to the States this summer on a tour.
In the meantime – there’s 2018 to check out.
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