Release Date: Jun 12, 2012
Record label: Casablanca
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Orlando Higginbottom has composed an album of thoughtful dance music that doesn't sound over-thought - despite what the name of his project suggests. Known for dressing up in glittery feathered outfits for his concerts, the young Oxford-based producer has a plaintive croon that's much less flamboyant than his look. On this debut album, he can often be heard pleading wistfully over warm and winsome rave, techno and satisfyingly bassy house beats and hooky pop choruses to unashamedly euphoric effect.
It’s every MC’s worst nightmare: you drop your secret weapon, nobody moves. Orlando Higginbottom saw it first-hand when visiting London - club floors full of people trying to talk and update their statuses at the same time. No-one truly losing it; no spasming slaves to the beat. Then, like Kick-Ass, he had a revelation, went back to Oxford and sewed himself a T-Rex costume.
While Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs may have found commercial success out of the box with the poppy house single "Garden," the accompanying full-length showed that Orlando Higginbottom was more than a one-trick pony. A cunning blend of pseudo-rave and modern electro-disco, his debut full-length, Trouble, runs over an hour long and is filled with potential hits. The formula is simple and sweet: minimal, hard-hitting retro-fresh beats -- with a special attention paid to subtle synth textures -- and delicate, breezy vocals that deliver bittersweet but precious melodies.
Dance artist Teed, aka Orlando, already has plenty of feathers in his cap, from remixing Lady Gaga and working with Friendly Fires to being picked for Damon Albarn's DRC Music project with Oxfam, and his debut album will be another. Expertly tweaked synths sit on a bed of complex beats mixing house and techno with subtle nods to sundry other genres. Tracks such as Household Goods have a Daft Punk feel, while Solo combines a driving beat with pleasingly weird harmonies.
The name's a lark, kind of. When Oxford-based pop-infused house producer Orlando Higginbottom uploaded some rough demos to MySpace back in the pre-Soundcloud days of 2007, he attributed them to the rather ridiculous-sounding moniker of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. His reasoning, as he told former Pitchfork contributor Philip Sherburne over at SPIN, was that he was looking for a name that "couldn't be cool, couldn't be put into some kind of scene that gets hip for six months and then falls out of fashion.
There's a lot of clever things going on in this debut album by 22-year-old Orlando Higginbottom (below). Feted as the new face of pop/dance crossover, he wears headdresses like Lady Gaga and shows equal bravado in the musical influences he has acquired. Higginbottom has the melancholic vocal style of art-dance faves Junior Boys, a dollop of Hot Chip's playfulness and the retro-house music tones currently filing fashionable dancefloors across the UK.
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED) is the brainchild of a UK gentleman named Orlando Higginbottom, which would make an excellent DJ name. Why he opted out of that I don’t know. What I do know is that those who have experienced or heard about TEED’s live show would expect his full-length debut, Trouble, to equal its sweat-soaked, bombastic vibe that includes confetti cannons, flamboyant costumes, stage dancers, and a seizure-inducing light show.
While it might seem futile, there’s still a lot to say for artists that continue to relish in the diversity of music. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ Orlando Higginbottom was first noticed with his strong remixes for other electronic artists, like The 2 Bears and pop artists like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. And while collaborating with a lot of different artists all under one massive umbrella, Higginbottom’s TEED celebrates combining a fusion of styles for terrific results.
An outstanding debut album that's been a long time coming. Ele Beattie 2012 Us Brits have always mixed a tradition for stiff upper lips with a flamboyant love of dressing up. From traditional Morris dancing to the unsmiling Queen's Guards; to the astronaut, deep sea diver and dead rock stars found queuing politely during festival season: we're all suckers for organised fancy dress.