The Orielles: An Interview

At their headline show at The Finsbury on Friday 26th May, I spoke to Sidonie (drums) and Henry (guitar) of The Orielles.


I want to ask you guys about politics, but let’s start off with music: can you talk me through your new single I Only Bought it for the Bottle?

Sidonie: it’s about the idea of narcissism and buying products at face value. The idea came from when we watched the film Neon Demon by Nicholas Winding Refn, which is about modelling agencies and how they produce blindsided models.


How about 8-minute blinder Sugar Tastes Like Salt? What journey did that song take?

Henry: Each part was written at different times when we were all listening to different music. It was written over the span of three years. One day we hope to do the full half an hour’s worth of every Sugar ending we’ve ever come up with.


Did you hope the song would challenge people’s shortening attention spans?

Sidonie: It was always a risk. But it was a risk that we were prepared to take.

Henry: I don’t see why you should shorten a song. You insult people’s intelligence by only giving them 3 minutes of a song.


What are your hopes for the election on June 8th?

Henry: A Labour majority. I went to see him [Jeremy Corbyn] in Hebden [Bridge] when he did his manifesto speech. The town hall got too full and there were loads of people queueing, so he went up to a balcony and did a second speech from there. Amazing guy.


How do you think you’ll feel on June 9th?

Henry: We’re going to do either three things [if Labour lose]: we’re either going to start a punk band, move to Canada, OR move to Glasgow and wait for the Scots to become independent.


And if Labour win?

Henry: Either way, I am going to have a mad’un: a celebration or a commiseration.


It’s Jeremy Corbyn’s birthday today.

Henry: Happy birthday, daddy!


What do you think he’d be like as a father figure?

Henry: He’d teach you life lessons from when you were young; he’d get you politically-active from a young age like it should be.


Should the voting age be lowered to sixteen?

Henry:  Yeah. If 16 and 17 year olds could vote, it would be a completely different story. And there are people who are eighteen years-old who aren’t voting and I just can’t understand why. It stresses me out.


What is your opinion on how the press has been during the election campaigns?

Henry: – Awful. After seeing the Corbyn speech, I went to the local supermarket, and all of the newspapers had headlines like “Theresa May is for the Working Man.” The manifesto had been leaked and already Theresa May had used the press to take Labour’s strong points as her own. The fact that she’s not debating infuriates me. When I saw Corbyn do his speech, I just thought to myself, if people actually listened to what his manifesto is about, there’d be no way you’d vote Conservative. That’s why she’s not debating: she realises that Labour and their manifesto is actually something to be reckoned with, and that the majority of the UK don’t like being fucked by a government that they didn’t vote for.


Where were you when you heard about the bombing at the Manchester Arena?

Henry: I didn’t hear about it until the morning. And in the 24hr news cycle, I just heard more and more about it through the day. It was really nice to see Mancunians and people showing solidarity.

Sidonie: We saw so many promoters who said they’re going to keep the shows on because they wanted to prove that music is about love and sticking together. That’s the best thing to do in times like this; fight against it.

Henry: They want to divide us and keep us separate and scared and you just can’t let it happen can you. Music is such an effective form of escapism, and a gig is where people come together as a community. For someone to target as sacred a place as a gig really got to us on a personal level.


Let’s talk about vinyl: what does it mean to you guys?

Henry: It’s nice to fill your house or room with music played on a natural record.

Sidonie: You’re not just buying it to listen to; it’s something you can hold, and so much nicer than just a download.

Henry: Vinyl should be considered as a full piece of art; start to finish on both sides. We keep them close to our hearts. I’ll never forget the day we got test presses through for Sugar.


Do any records stand out as particularly special?

Sidonie: I always The Pastels, Slow Summits. It’s perfect for every occasion.

Henry: On tour, wherever we go, we just buy records. I came back off tour with 4 new LPs and 3 singles. Not only does it remind you of the tour, it reminds you of the town you got it in; how the gig was; what the weather was like; what beer was on the rider. It’s like getting a tattoo: a little time capsule of when you bought it.


Do you think that reissues damage sales of records by new bands?

Sidonie: I don’t think so, no. We buy both; I think true fans of music will definitely buy both.

Henry: I think that reissues are an amazing thing about modern day consumerism. For example, I bought the record by Donny & Joe Emerson, which is an album by two brothers recorded on a farm. Someone found it and reissued it for the whole world to hear. For people in our generation who have a love for music like that but can’t buy the records because they’re hundreds and hundreds of pounds, reissues are an amazing thing.


What do you think the industry can do to support young musicians, especially those in guitar bands?

Henry: Scrap pay-to-play shows completely.

Sidonie: I think that the most money nowadays is in going to gigs, so maybe make them a little bit cheaper to encourage more people to go and to buy merch. From touring, we’ve realised that we don’t make much money from the gigs: it’s all from the merchandise.

Henry: This might not be a good idea but: record live shows because a young band starting out will not have the money for studio time and to be able to put songs out there for people to actually listen to. So if you record a set and chop it up into the songs and release that, that’s a really easy way for bands to get their songs online.

Edited and shortened for clarity. A version of this interview first appeared here on Flying Vinyl.


Our Girl: Agnostic Purple Sweet Lovers with a Knack for Songwriting

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Euphoric, ethereal and pulsating, the sound of Our Girl oscillates through Stoke Newington’s Waiting Room like the boom and beck of a guiltless explosion. Washing over the crowd comes Soph Nathan’s raw purr and irresistible tempo-tastic riffs with the ebb and flow of Josh Tyler (bass) and Lauren Wilson’s (drums) rhythm section.

It’s evident even in the soundcheck that Our Girl are onto something special, and it’s intriguing as well as impressive to hear each member play and sing their part in isolation. Blended, the trio are a force to be reckoned with.

So enamoured are we with these soaring studies on personal relationships that, in a first for us at Flying Vinyl, we’re putting out not two, but three of their seductive tunes on one transparent orange-cast miniature EP.

“A sound that will fill you up from the inside like a tonic.”

Being Around, No Big Deal and new Ty Segall cover Hot Fuzz (a treat that the trio recorded for us) will be landing on your doormats this week, and we can’t wait for you to drop the needle on a sound that will fill you up from the inside like a tonic.

The unity of these musicians is palpable on stage, and off it, too, Soph, Josh and Lauren are a veritable gang.

For one, they’re all Hufflepuffs, though acceptance ranges from reluctant (Josh – “people say that I’m a Hufflepuff”) to proud (Soph – “I’m a total Hufflepuff!”)

To Lauren, being a member of the yellow-hued Hogwarts house means that “we’re nice and we like animals.”

True, when a pug/chihuahua cross comes into the Three Crowns, everyone’s ears prick up, and nice is, if I’m honest, a total understatement.

But what else make Our Girl tick? Our chat is extensive and far-reaching, so there’s plenty to report.

For one thing, all three of them favour the purple Skittle (“the citrus ones are shit”). For another, Soph recently felt grossed out by a fried chicken meal that was, she argues, “too chicken-y.”

From the low brow to the lofty, I can also tell you that not one of the trio are religious (what with the transcendence of that music, I had to ask.)

“The power is with us.”

“I feel spiritual but I don’t believe in God” says Lauren. Instead, she believes “in people and the connections between people…the power is with us.”

This energy of relationships is a gossamer thread, glistening at the heart of Our Girl’s tunes. It continues in brand new, addictively melodic Ty Segall cover Sad Fuzz, which Soph “couldn’t get out of [her] head for weeks.”

What with its rise and fall reminiscent of water, it’s an inspired choice for a first cover; an ideal companion to their similarly liquid original tunes.

Not for no reason does the Normally EP feature friend Mina submerged in the bath, or the video for No Big Deal see Soph, Lauren and Josh floating, thrashing and tumbling in an outdoor swimming pool in North London.

Water seems the ideal phenomenon to parallel these tunes, both Lauren and Soph coming to the idea of “having a view of the sky through water” independently of one another. And, as Josh insists: “swimming in clothes is very freeing.”

So there we have it: a trio of agnostic purple sweet-loving water babies with a knack for songwriting. Race you to the turntable.

A version of this article first appeared here on Flying Vinyl