Orchards – Losers/Lovers (EP Review)

Rating:

Featuring an opening track like ‘Luv You 2’, this 8-track EP from Brighton’s Orchards may just have the best start to a record this year. Tropical 90’s dance transitions into Minute Men angular guitars, and a Hot Club De Paris vocal style ‘whooo’ leads into an absolutely huge chorus. This slice of mathy tropical indie rock hits instant ear-worm territory.

Those tropical vibes continue throughout Losers/Lovers, with hooks and melodies that could easily sneak into a throwback dance playlist. However, this is just a tiny element in a musical style which takes in decades of influence from all over the spectrum.

The combinations of angular guitars and complex bass lines sound like the kind of eighties sound that bands like Mystery Jets pined for in the late noughties. The complex instrumentation has elements of Tera Melos and Tallships with razor sharp time signatures. During the more sparse moments we get a hint of late Bloc Party, with creative electronic sounds creating a sense of dread often broken up with a huge bass line.

All these combinations are delicately balanced into a sound littered with variation, all held together with Lucy Evers’ vast vocal range, conveying emotive, personal, and cathartic lyrics. There are moments of strength; ‘Drama King’ and ‘Age of You’ featuring sharp lyrics and heavy put downs. There are moments of fragility; ‘Honey’ compliments a dreamy backing with emotive cracks which build to strength in bitterness. There are also moments of pure joy; the choruses on this EP are simply euphoric.

Within Losers/Lovers lies a heart of solid gold pop. It’s accessible enough to be universally loved, but with enough pretension to appease ‘the scene’. This is credit to an incredible songwriting talent and musicianship that matches an ambitious approach.

Losers/Lovers is out now on Big Scary Monsters.