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Interview: The Orielles

Sid, her sister Esme and their best mate Henry, met at a house party in their native Halifax, they’re practically still teenagers and they released a song not long ago, based on their love for Paul Rudd. As a trio, they are widely known throughout the music circuit as The Orielles, a band who have their dreamy, sunshine indie pop crafted down to a tee. Their infectious bedroom jams give you that warm, fuzzy feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have that first sip of coffee in the morning or something. They make you crave summer and revel in being young and putting your favourite pair of Converse on. Then they met producer, Marta Salogni and decided to give us something really quite wonderfully different in the release of their brand new single, Sugar Tastes Like Salt.

As far as departures go, The Orielles have certainly tuned in on how to shake their sound up; Sugar Tastes Like Salt is a sprawling, confident, unashamedly funky, eight minute ode to the Tarantino film, Deathproof. It’s the sassiest, darkest and dare we say, best thing they’ve ever released, honing in on their alliance with Manchester and it’s rich, musical history, by giving way to Happy Monday’s dancier, Hacienda-indebted guitar style and A Certain Ratio’s deadpan groove. Even the swirling intro sounds akin to Inspiral Carpet’s ‘This Is How It Feels’. It’s a direction that is set to give the band an extra leg-up following their recent signing to Heavenly Recordings and their first nationwide tour beginning in April.

To celebrate the release of the single, we had a lil chat with bassist Esme, the 17-year-old baby of the band, who is all for looking like a Tenenbaum and cooking up a mean guacamole.

Hiya. So firstly, how does it feel joining the Heavenly Recordings roster? Were you a fan of the label and its artist’s beforehand?

Heyooo! Yeah, it feels really cool to be joining the Heavenly roster and almost like a massive achievement for us as we’ve always been big fans! Stoked to be alongside a bunch of our favourite bands, too. 

Sugar Tastes Like Salt is quite a departure from your other songs, it’s a little bit darker. I don’t know why but it sounds very Mancunian for some reason. There’s something about the production which sounds inherently Northern. Would you agree? 

For sure! Around the time of recording the track, we were listening to a lot of stuff by A Certain Ratio, Happy Mondays, ESG, The Soup Dragons etc. so mostly a lot of Manchester or at least ‘Hacienda’ bands, which I think was channelled into the funky, dancier segments of the song. It’s also a track we’ve been adding to for a looong while as well, so it’s kind of a project that possesses a lot of sentiment for us, which could explain the natural or inherent northern sound.    

The song also references the Tarantino film, Deathproof. Was the song built around that quote or did it just happen out of nowhere?

When we first wrote the song we were playing in front of a projection of the film Death Proof and I guess that quote just really stood out to us as being quite a concise and telling metaphor for what the lyrics were addressing. Now we’ve extended the song to the 8-ish minutes it currently stands at, it kind of works as an auditory story that could be the soundtrack to the final car chase scene in the film, when the girl gang finally get their revenge on Stuntman Mike!

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You recorded the single with Marta Salogni, who has worked with artists such as Bjork, FKA Twigs and Blossoms, how was that experience? 

Recording with Marta was ace and hopefully we’ll get to do again in the future! We all really vibed off each other, which is the type of relationship you want to have with any producer, like she was up for adding gongs and bongos to the track at 3am, so it was a lot of fun. But she definitely had a lot to teach us about recording and mixing the tracks which was cool and interesting.

I remember reading a review of you saying you looked like characters out of a Wes Anderson film. I don’t know how much you would agree with that but Is having a certain image important for The Orielles?

Haha, that’s cool, yeah maybe we do have a bit of a Tenenbaums look about us or something! I’d say our look is less ‘considered’ than some bands because we don’t really have a dress code or anything. I think that would be a little too contrived for us, personally. We did have a joke though saying that our trousers are always too big and our tops too small, which is true most of the time. The legends at Dickies keep sorting us out with clothes for our tours though (shout out to Spiv Agency!).

You’re going on your first national tour in April, are there any cities you’re particularly excited for or have some affiliation with?

We’re really excited for the new places that we’ve never visited such as Newcastle, Edinburgh and Oxford, hopefully they should be good shows! Happy to be returning to Brighton as we always have a good time there, same with Sheffield and also super excited to play our first ever headline ‘hometown’ show in Hebden Bridge, as that’s one of our most local venues and a place we love dearly.  

What new bands should everyone know about?

We’ve been listening to a lot of Girl Ray lately and have totally fallen in love with their sound! Also Sports Team, one of our favourite live bands at the moment, Her’s, Luxury Death and Katie Pham & The Moonbathers are all doing sick stuff. 

If The Orielles had a theme song, what would it be? 

Probably something that sounds like the Full House theme tune, because we ripped that guitar riff off in the past for a song that we don’t play anymore.

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I was wondering, Esme, what it’s like to have your sister in a band with you? You seem to both bounce off having one another to make music with. 

Yeah it’s definitely a good thing to get to play and tour with your sister and best pal, it works because we’re dead close! Henry always says that we have a psychic sister ability to sense how the bass and drums move whilst we’re jamming, and if we fuck up at least we fuck up together! It really feels like a family band though, considering we’re so close as a unit, I’m actually convinced Henry’s our long lost brother or something. 

What music do you listen to on the tour bus?

Wow, we have an eclectic taste for sure. It can range from Brazilian funk/jazz for when we’re keeping the party alive, to 70s rock hits for our ‘get psyched mix’ before a show. At the moment though, we’re listening to a lot of Avi Buffalo, Devo, Elliott Smith and this rad compilation CD that everyone should check out, called Wake Up You! The Rise & Fall of Nigerian Rock, it’s a beauty.

Lastly, what do you enjoy doing outside of the band?

We’re all massively into film, which is pretty evident from a lot of our lyrics and song titles! We also enjoy cooking good scran; whacking up a heavenly guacamole is our party trick, and we’re into art and design too, namely Hockney fangirls/boys! Also if It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia counts as an interest, then that’s a biggy!

Catch The Orielles on tour:

April

5th Edinburgh Leith Depot
6th Glasgow The Hug & Pint
7th Newcastle Think Tank Underground
8th York The Fulford Arms
11th London The Social
12th Oxford The Cellar
13th Reading Purple Turtle
14th Brighton The Hope & Ruin
15th Southampton  The Joiners
16th Cardiff Wales Goes Pop: Weekender
19th Leicester The Cookie
20th Birmingham Victoria
21st Hebden Bridge  Trades Club
22nd Stoke The Sugarmil
26th Sheffield Bungalows & Bears
28th Nottingham The Chameleon
29th Leeds Live At Leeds
30th Liverpool Festevol
30th Manchester SFTOC