Release Date: Feb 28, 2020
Record label: Heavenly
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
The history of pop music is stacked to the rafters with bands who made a great debut album, then faltered precipitously on their second. Some of the pitfalls are trying to do the exact same thing with diminishing returns, trying something too different and losing the plot, rushing the process, or taking too long. Basically, making a successful second album is about as easy as crossing a busy freeway while blindfolded.
You'd be hard pressed to find another band in 2020 who sound like Halifax young'ns The Orielles. On the follow-up to their adventurous debut 'Silver Dollar Moment', the trio-turned-foursome blend a ton of influences to create a lush soundscape with a kitschy, '70s finish. Single 'Bobbi's Second World' introduced a punchier new element to the group's already pretty out-there sound, and it remains a firm highlight with its zesty synth sections and gang vocals.
Disco Volador is the follow-up to The Orielles‘ simple but lovely debut album Silver Dollar Moment, and it shows the band in a state of mild experimentation. Across its 40-odd minute runtime, you’re given a pleasant but rather placid showcase of sounds that The Orielles have been influenced by this time around (out with the Stone Roses, in with Stereolab), but you’ll often find that it’s lacking in the vibrancy and kick of the original flavours that The Orielles seek to draw from. Check out the super-phase sci-fi craziness of second track Rapid i, which splits the difference between imperial era Stereolab and slack-jawed early Blur with buoyant but mild results.
What do The Orielles think they're playing at? Here we are, welly-deep in February, buffeted by rain, cold and sadness. All we want is to curl up under something warm and soft and listen to Kid A again. But no, here come the dreampop squad from Halifax, dropping a record seemingly purpose-built to for summer festivals. Then again, 'Disco Volador' - with its otherworldly sounds and lyrics concerning cosmic patterns, transparent shapes and a type of goo that pulls you into outer space - is largely about escaping the mundanity of the everyday, rewarding listeners that allow their imaginations to wander.
B ritish music fans have an insatiable appetite for cosmic indie pop. Broadcast, Stereolab and the Beta Band infused it with rich sociopolitical ideas and sharp songwriting almost 30 years ago. But what was radical then has since been boiled down into pastiche (exemplified by the indulgently gimmicky Public Service Broadcasting) and only periodically shocked back to life by innovative songwriters with a wide lens.