Orchards Interview: “We take bits from all genres of music”

Orchards

Orchards’ new EP Losers/Lovers will be released on 6th July 2018 via Big Scary Monsters Records.

With lush melodies and intricate musicianship, Brighton math pop outfit Orchards are a unique proposition. Deftly combining hooks that one would sell their grandmother for and riffs fueled by funk and math rock, the group provide a ludicriously fun and engaging experience. This is mirrored in their live show which is perhaps the happiest and most upbeat show I’ve been to in years.

On 6th of July they’ll release their new EP Loser/Lovers via the ever reliable Big Scary Monsters Records. To celebrate this announcement we sat down with the group to talk about the first single to be released from the EP, playing ArcTanGent for this first time this summer, and their love of melding genres.

Overblown: You have a new track out called ‘Luv You 2’ and signed to Big Scary Monsters. Does this mean there is a debut LP on the horizon? Is that a standalone single?

Orchards: We’ve just announced a 5 track EP and we seriously could not be more excited. It’s been a long time coming for us, and finally, all our hard work and passion has been squished in between 2 pieces of vinyl. We just can’t wait to hear everyone’s response.

Overblown: I’ve read a lot of articles recently about how the LP is dead and bands need to figure that out. Personally, I love an album. But, then again, I am an old man. What is your opinion on the issue?

Orchards: Personally, I love an album too. It really gives you an insight into the band/artists inspiration and journey. However, there is the other train of thought (which I guess we’ve followed) when you’re coming up as a new band, singles are a great way to have music coming out constantly and keeping you in people’s ears.

You only get one debut album, so if you’re not in the prime position to release it then songs can go unnoticed. You might think Track 9 is one of the best songs you’ve written but a sad truth is most people probably won’t listen to it unless they’re already invested emotionally in your band. We’ve been lucky that the ‘stream of singles’ idea has worked really well for us, and through that and touring we’ve seen our fan base grow!

Another thing is that when bands are starting out, recording a full-length LP is very expensive and time-consuming – like I said before, you only get one debut album and you want to make sure the songs on it are the best ones you have, plus juggling real life with band life is sometimes hard to do!

Overblown: You’ll be playing ArcTanGent this summer. Cannot wait to see you folks live again. Have you been before?

Orchards: Will has been before and always come back with plenty of stories. Hopefully, we can make some more this year. There’re so many of our friends at it this year and we just wanna take the time to soak up the proper ArcTanGent experience (which probably means a lot of rain). When we started this band playing ATG was one of our biggest goals so to finally be on the poster feels amazing! Some of the bands on the line up we grew up listening to and we’ve also got a lot of pals playing so all in all, yeah, you could say we’re excited!

Overblown: Your musical style is quite an unusual blend of math rock intricacy with sugary pop melodies and structures. What inspired you to head in that direction?

Orchards: We take huge inspiration from Everything Everything and Foals. As a band, our inspirations all seem to collide with those two bands, but we all have such vast tastes in music, from super mainstream pop like Anne Marie & Dua Lipa to OG indie bands like Bloc Party & The Wombats to more progressive stuff like The Mars Volta & The Fall of Troy.

We take bits from all genres of music and it somehow comes out like it does, but we love it. When it comes down to it we all lovesick top lines and melody but also love the interesting side of left field music. When we start to write a song we don’t go into planning it to sound ‘like Orchards’ it just happens. Our songwriting style is constantly changing but yeah, I guess you could say that we have a lot of pop sensibilities in whatever we do!

Overblown: You have quite a fun and charming presence live. Is that your goal for live shows? To make them fun?

Orchards: Yeah we have so much fun playing live and to see people having fun listening to us it gives us more energy and it becomes this beautiful glittery circle. Our music is the type of stuff you can have a party to and dance around so we want to bring that into every live performance whether that be acoustic or full band. We want the audience to be comfortable at our shows too so having fun onstage hopefully bleeds down into the crowd and makes a lovely atmosphere for everyone to get involved with.

Overblown: My favourite song by you is ‘Peggy’. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired that song?

Orchards: Lyrically this song was a band effort. We all wanted to make something that would connect with everyone. Regardless of gender, race, cultural background, sexual preference. You can relate to these words and take from it what you need in that specific moment.It was our first foray into the left field instrumentation and melodic top line combination so we were feeling our way through our new vibe. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein song – we all threw so many bits into it, whether that be arrangement or actual instrumentation, so it was a journey writing it!

Overblown: Pineapple on pizza? Yay or nay?

It’s an Orchards 50/50 split on that. Lucy and Will for sure say yes but me and Dan like pine nuts and sultanas on ours. Throw a cheeky bit of caramelised onion on there and we’ll all get involved. To be honest we’d drown the slice in Sriracha so it would just end up tasting like that heavenly creature anyway.

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