As the days continue to grow shorter and the dark of night creeps in ever earlier, many will be doting for a bit of brightness right about now. Right on cue, Orchards have arrived with a gorgeous ray of sonic sunshine in the form of their brand new EP ‘Trust Issues’. The fervent flurry of five songs passes by in a flash but it’s a strong step forward off the back of last year’s debut album ‘Lovecore’.
Opening with lead single ‘Leave Us Here (We’re Fine)’, the Brighton trio kick off with their most anthemic track to date. Championing a hugely infectious chorus (even by their own already exceptional standard) in favour of their typically atypical math-rock flirtations makes for an introduction that will stay on listeners’ lips long after their first run through. Often remaining reserved and conversational in the verses, it’s Lucy Evers’ voice that is Orchards’ crowning jewel as she bursts to life in yet another superb chorus in ‘Wrong Shoes’, building directly off of its predecessor.
Led by Sam Rushton’s dainty and dreamy guitar parts, ‘Drive Me Home’ is a romantic number that possesses the inexplicable magic that occurs when a song conjures feelings of nostalgia from the very first listen. The most placid offering on the EP, it’s still a song that is rich in texture, predominantly down to the band’s chemistry and their proficiency in layering and composition. While Evers and Rushton will inevitably occupy the foreground, bassist and vocalist Dan Fane is the unsung hero here. His rhythmic sensibilities both with his bass and his voice provide a bed on which the rest of the band can explore and expand.
Of course, the result is a vibrant soundscape with a distinct identity to which each band member measurably contributes. This notion is particularly evident in ‘Bye, Insecurity’ which has particularly stripped back verses, in which every component of the Orchards’ dynamic can be appreciated in its own right. While the band do have a clear blueprint and formula to their sound, the three-piece each have enough strings to their bow to prevent their sound from getting repetitive or boring. There’s simply too much going on for there to be any room for complacency.
The EP bows out with the band truly releasing any shackles and embracing the catharsis of crashing chords and thrashing drums towards the end of ‘Wonderful’. Overall, ‘Trust Issues’ is a short and snappy reminder of Orchards’ potential as a pop-rock powerhouse in the making. That aside, it’s impossible not to have fun while listening to Orchards, and isn’t that what it’s all about?