INTERVIEW: The Orielles

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The Orielles formed around three years ago, after sisters Esmé-Dee (bass & lead vocals) and Sidonie B Hand Halford (drums) met Henry Carlyle Wade (guitar & vocals) at a house party in Halifax. Based now in Manchester, Liverpool and Halifax respectively, the trio have grafted their way to a record deal with Heavenly Recordings, with their debut album set for release in February next year.

The three band members all take inspiration from similair artists, spreading across a wide range of genres such as 70s post-punk, indie and psychedelic, but it was their shared love for the Pixies which sparked the initial musical bond. We chatted to Sidonie, who talked us through the band’s journey so far and the upcoming album release…

You’re signed to Heavenly and set to release your debut album, this must be an incredible feeling?

“It’s been great, it’s overwhelming in the best way possible. We can’t quite believe we are signed to our favourite record label, and working with producers like Marta (Salogni) is a dream come true. We never thought this would be possible when we started the band, and we were talking yesterday about how far we’ve actually come.

“We’ve worked so hard for the last three years. The demos we sent over to Heavenly were recorded two years ago and they are only just about to come out in February, so it has been a long process but it’s definitely been worth it.”

So what can we expect from the album in February?

“We’ve been writing this for a good few years like I said, so there are tracks on there dating back a while and tracks we have literally wrote in the studio. The last song on the album is really fresh, but the album overall is quite varied in terms of time so there’s lots of different elements in there.

“We are so proud of it and we hope that people will love it as much as we do. It’s been a long process building up the songs, and I think we’ve got one more single release before February and a tour in April which we are really looking forward to.”

And the fan base is certainly starting to increase, has this been evident at the recent gigs?

“Definitely. We used to get a little bit worried before shows just in case people didn’t turn up, especially in places we hadn’t played before. There was always that risk that they might not have been into us. We played Madrid and we were quite apprehensive but there were fans wearing our t-shirts which was crazy. We’d never even played in Spain before.”

You’ve just played a show in London too, have you found it a bit more difficult attracting fans at gigs down south?

“Initially it was definitely a little bit harder to build up a fan base down south, particularly in London. When you play up north your mates come down to the first few shows so you know there will already be an atmosphere, but you’ve got to start from scratch when you play somewhere new. After playing a a few times there it’s just the same down south as it is up north for us now.

“We’ve just played a So Young show in London, we’ve done that before and it’s such a cool venue. Everyone knows each other and there’s a little community going on down there. Hotel Lux and Sports Team supported and they were great as always too.”

What has been the stand-out gig for The Orielles so far?

“In May of last year, we played the Canadian Music Week in Toronto which was so exciting, but we’d been travelling all day and we were so jet lagged. We had to perform two shows on the first night of arrival, the first with The Magic Gang at 10pm and then the next was four hours later.

“By the time we were due to play the 2am set we were so worn out, but still to this day it is the best show we’ve ever played. There wasn’t even that many people there but it just felt so great for some reason. I think it was our first show abroad and it was a bit of a ‘look how far we’ve come’ moment.”

You’ve said on social media how Liverpool is also a special place to play for yourselves, what is it about that city?

“It’s just such a tight-knit community of fans there, everybody helps each other other and are really supportive to one another. People come to each other’s shows and there are bands doing amazing things in the city. It’s the vibe, the promoters and the great venues which make Liverpool such a special place to play in.”

In terms of ambitions, is there one place in particular you would love to play in the future?


We’d love to play at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona. A lot of our friends always go there and the pictures always look amazing. We have been told it’s a great festival, so it would be pretty cool to play there at some point in the future.”

The Orielles play at the Deaf Institute in Manchester on Friday 8th December.  You can get tickets here.

Silver Dollar Moment, the debut album from The Orielles will be released on Heavenly Recordings in February 2018, but in the meantime here is the fantastic Sugar Tastes Like Salt

Sean Marsh

Sean Marsh

Founding Editor of Northern Chorus

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