The Orielles interview: Heavenly sent

We spoke to guitarist Henry Carlyle Wade as the band look ahead to releasing their debut record via one of the UK's finest indie labels, whilst a huge show at Liverpool Music Week also beckons.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 4th Oct 2017.
Originally published: 3rd Oct 2017

Image: Rowan Allen/ The Orielles (credit)

After featuring on heaps of 'ones to watch in 2017' lists, Halifax three piece The Orielles have been seriously living up to the hype over the past months, blossoming brilliantly under the stewardship of those in the know at Heavenly Records, who have helped hone the group's dreamy, fuzzy indie sound.

It's a sound that defines the genre in its most literal sense, not the indie we were bombarded with this time a decade ago, rather a personality way more DIY than the landfill era, celebrating jangling guitars, driving rhythms and beefy basslines that helps infuse a deep groove into the band's songs, not least one of their more recent singles, the Tarantino inspired 'Sugar Tastes Like Salt'.

The reference to the iconic filmaker's 'Death Proof' touches on a longstanding love of TV and Film within the band; drummer Sidonie B Hand- Halford, and sister of bassist Esme- Dee, studies Media and Film in Liverpool, while their track 'Joey Says We Got It' is a nod, of course, to Friends.

A live force to be reckoned with, the band's forthcoming Liverpool Music Week show on Saturday 4th November is a mouthwatering prospect, especially when you factor in the fact that they're on a bill along with AJ Tracey, Everything Everything and plenty more. Ahead of that show, we caught up with guitarist and vocalist Henry Carlyle Wade to talk about college, the Heavenly influence and sibling telepathy.

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Hey man, how are you? I gather you've just got in from college right?

Yeah I have, just now I've been waiting for your call. I'm in my final year.

What's that like then, being in full time education still but also being in a band that are signed to Heavenly Records?

Outside of college, people are bit confused by it, but inside no one really has any reference to Heavenly and what that means so I'm just a pupil. It keeps me on the ground - if I were to say I'm signed to Heavenly Records, people would say 'what is that?' They don't feed my ego. [laughs]

How are things in The Orielles then, you've just finished recording your debut album haven't you? 

Yeah we have, we finished it at the end of the summer, our first full summer of festivals. We'd been doing weekends and evenings, but it only took about three sessions to do and we've now got the mastering back from it, so we're having heavy debates with Heavenly about the album art and stuff.

We're pretty much on the same page, but we're always happy with what the artist comes back with and Heavenly want to tweak it a bit, but stylistically we both want similar artwork.

Obviously art is a massive passion of yours as a band, so I guess it's something you want to get right...

Historically, music art and film have all been rolled into one and I've been researching about the importance of zines and artwork in music as a whole. It's still really important, and it's part of the package you expect to come with a band. 

Looking at a band like Temples, who are also on Heavenly, that's very clear - what do you make of their album art?

The guy that did that is close to a lot of heavenly bands, I think he did Confidence Man's as well, we really like his stuff. We've got a bit of an exhibition in Heavenly social at the moment which is dead cool.

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Do you pay more attention to the Heavenly bands now you're part of the label, or was the love always there?

Well I think one of the reasons us and Heavenly came together and why we wanted to work with them so much is because of the quality of music on the label's roster and the music that was coming out prior to us starting to have conversations with them. So there was Hooton Tennis Club, and more recently, the Parrots and Amber Arcades and H. Hawkline. It's been a label that has put out great music for a while now.

I actually saw you support Hooton Tennis Club at the last Kazimier gig...

Ah yeah, at the Kazzy. Yeah man, well funnily enough that's where Katherine from Heavenly first saw us, she had recently moved up to Liverpool from London so she saw us there and reported back to the label. It was a good gig, I think Trudy supported as well didn't they? It sucks about the Kazzy though. That show kickstarted the whole thing, which is sick to look back on.

One of your more recent singles, 'Sugar Tastes Like Salt' is so different to your other songs in that it is so long, why is that?

Part of the idea with sugar, and the reason it's so long, is because as a band when we're writing songs we often come with ideas and jam them out until we naturally find a chorus or a verse or whatever and so with sugar we just kept everything in.

Normally we take the jams out when we record and put them back in when we play a live set and that's what we've done with the ending. We'd never normally put out a song that long, but when Heavenly came up to see us in Leeds, they immediately thought that song should come out first. 

That's kind of what we wanted to do with the album, was to veer away from just bringing out pop songs and mess around with structures a bit more.There's a few over six or seven minutes but then there's some classic two minute pop songs. We wrote the tunes over a year and a half ago as we were getting ready to demo, so there's a good mix.

What were the biggest highlights from this summer of festivals?

I think Greenman was the pinnacle because our set time was lengthened so much and we had a great slot.We were the first band on on the Saturday, on a big outdoor stage. We'd had a bit of a party on the first two nights, and we weren't expecting much. When we got there the crowd were amazing and they really packed it out which we never expected, especially at a festival we'd already wanted to play. 

You've also been booked for Great Escape, which will do wonders for your progression...

That's one of the best things about the festival. We've always wanted to go but have never been able to because of exams or whatever. Our manager went down this year and teased us with how good it is but we couldn't make it so we can't wait for next year.

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You're a Halifax band, but have ties to Liverpool - what's the Merseyside connection?

Sid went off to uni in Liverpool coming onto four years ago - we didn't know how that was going to go for us, it was a bit of an unsteady period, but obviously she loved what she was doing so we made it work. It's been really beneficial having Sid that side of the M62. and whenever we've had Liverpool shows we've always had somewhere to stay. She lives right next to FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) which is cool.

An obvious question perhaps, but for you being in a band with two sisters, what is that like?

It's not a predictable question at all because I think it's got a really good answer. As I was saying to you, when we go into these jams and write songs, and naturally the dynamics just fit. That's nothing to do with me, that's Sid and Es' telepathic nature, I've noticed that through years of playing they've got this fucking connection. 

Without even looking at each other they can just change to a bit I've never played before and they've never played before together, so they definitely have this link. Because they're the rhythm section and a good band is driven by its bassist and drummer, it works wonders for our dynamic. 

You're joining the likes of AJ tracey and Everything Everything on the last day of Liverpool Music week -you must be looking forward to that? Will you be sticking round to watch them?

Hopefully so, because I've got a funny story to tell Everything Everything. I actually got paid to do some roadie-ing for a one off gig that they were doing in spring this year. I know Mal from Hebden Bridge Trades Club pretty well so he had me down doing it but obviously Everything Everything are pretty massive now so they have all this mad gear and the venue is upstairs so I was lugging all these flight cases up and down, I thought I was going to have a fucking heart attack.

The Orielles play at The Guild for Liverpool Music Week on Saturday 4th November, grab The Orielles tickets below.

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