March 17, 2017

Made up of sisters Sidonie and Esme, together with Henry (a mate they met at a house party), The Orielles are a thrashing mix of garage, alternative sounds and wavy psych. Taking influence from alt greats like the Pixies, Sonic Youth and The Pastels, the trio’s raucous guitar riffs and vicious drum beats mark them as West Yorkshire’s answer to West Coast chill-rock. After plugging away for a number of years, they’re now breaking out with the release of their debut track with Heavenly (with whom they’ve just been signed). Their brand new track “Sugar Tastes Like Salt” is an 8-minute-long extravaganza of ripping disco drumbeats and sprawling funk-punk guitars, juxtaposed with sultry vocals. We caught up with The Orielles to find out more about how they met at a house party, their local scene in Halifax and their upcoming national tour.

UO: Can you tell us a little about yourselves, how you guys met and what role you each play in the band?

Hey! We’re Sidonie (drums), Esme (Bass & Vocals) and Henry (Guitar & Vocals), three weirdos from West Yorkshire. We met at a party and decided to meet up the following day to have a jam together and it clicked instantly.

UO: At the house party you bonded over your shared love of 90s US bands. Who are some of your main influences?

Our main influences are bands like Pavement, Sonic Youth, Pixies and The Pastels. We’re also highly influenced by more funky bands such as A Certain Ratio and ESG!

UO: Did your families encourage you to explore and act on your musical impulses?

Yeah, they have always encouraged us to do what we love and follow our dreams. Sidonie & Esme’s Dad has been in bands throughout his life, so he has been especially helpful and encouraging. We have them all to thank, though, because before Sid could drive and before we started earning money from gigging they drove us all around the country for various musical endeavours. Thanks, Mums n Dads!

UO: How would you describe your sound?

Our sound can be described as garage, alternative, psych. A lil’ bit of everything, fun for all the family y’know?


UO: What is it like living and creating music in Halifax? How has your hometown inspired your creativity?

It’s only actually Esme and Henry that live in Halifax. Sid is in Liverpool, so we all spend quite a lot of our time between the two. Halifax is a nice place to go to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, it has some lovely parks and scenery. Not to mention Eureka, which we haven’t actually visited in years, but last we heard it was still freakin’ awesome!

In terms of creating music in Halifax, it has inspired us in the sense that there’s not a huge music scene, so we feel pushed to create something that the town is lacking. It also meant that we have had to work hard from day one to get our music heard in larger cities.

UO: Where do you write and create your music?

We co-own a practice space in our hometown, which has sort of become like our second home. It’s beside a little river and in the summer we take some tinnies down and go for a dip. In the colder months it’s not as pleasant, it stinks and it’s freezing but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

UO: When do you feel most creatively inspired?

We’re all pretty creative whilst on tour, spending a lot of time with one another means that we’re constantly bouncing off one another with ideas, plus spending a lot of the day in a van means that we get to listen to a lot of music. Aside from whilst touring, we feel at our most creative when we have just seen a really good band play! That definitely pushes us to try and create something similarly great.


UO: What are your dream venues to perform at?

We would love to play at The Roundhouse in London, just because I think all of our favourite bands have played there at least once so would be really surreal. Being fans of the punk scene, to have played at CBGB would have been wicked too. We’d also like to play more gigs around Europe so any cool venues there would be cool.

UO: You recently featured on Marc Riley’s radio show for BBC 6 Music. How was this experience for you as a band?

That was super fun and like nothing we’ve done before! Marc made us feel really at home and comfortable in the studio and once we’d finished the first song the nerves had subsided. Sid smashed her phone AND almost got a parking ticket before the show though, so her memories of the night are both good and bad.

UO: What other local Halifax artists are you excited about right now?

There are two wicked bands supporting us when we play at The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge – The Goa Express, a really cool psych band, and also Charlie’s Girls who we’re looking forward to catching.

UO: You’re about to embark on your first national tour this April. Are you excited and ready for this? What city are you most looking forward to playing?

Yes, we’re so excited! It’s going to be a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to hitting a few new places we have never played before, such as Edinburgh and Oxford. We’re quite into our charity shopping and Brighton is very good for that, so that’s gonna be a big one. Very psyched for FestEvol in Liverpool as it’s set to be an amazing day and our buddies The Parrots are also playing too. And of course, our hometown show at The Trades in Hebden Bridge is going to be wild!

Photo Credit: Neelam Khan Vela