As a band quickly gaining attention on the local music scene, Brighton group Orchards are definitely ones to watch. The four-piece consists of Lucy Evers on vocals, Sam Rushton on guitar, Dan Fane on bass and Will Lee-Lewis on drums. My first introduction to them was back in 2017, during their support slot for VUKOVI at Boston Music Room in London. As a band I hadn’t previously seen, they were incredibly impressive from the moment they began playing and arguably could’ve headlined the evening. More recently I saw them support Rolo Tomassi and their growth in both confidence and performance was stunning to see. Looking over their progression as a band in the last 12 months they seem to be going from strength to strength and all this hard work has led to their biggest release so far, in new EP Losers/Lovers.
The release kicks off with ‘Luv You 2’, which is a triumphant, upbeat number, setting the tone for the sound of the EP as a whole. Despite its upbeat nature, the lyrics reflect the longing to feel the love of a past relationship. Often described as math-rock, Orchards influences range from indie, pop and rock, and this song is a perfect combination of all that.
‘Drama King’ expresses similar feelings, describing the struggles and observations of a toxic relationship, in which they feel unable to be themselves as they are suppressed by their lover and their behaviour.
‘Be Here’ continues the mental struggle of lusting after somebody who doesn’t really respect or care for you, wishing they were somebody different, but falling for them uncontrollably. The lyrics: “falling for you / it’s a mistake” express regret, having realised where their emotions are headed.
Things take a more self respectful approach on ‘Double Vision’, as Evers sings in defence of herself against this negative ex-lover, finding the confidence to be alone again and stressing that while she is “Out in the cold” she is “happy” with herself.
On ‘Age of You’, Evers sings of a relationship coming to a close and running its course, although the wording, “this could be the age of you” leaves a little uncertainty. Many of these songs clearly represent a relationship that the writer feels unable to completely leave behind.
One of the definite highlights of the EP is ‘Honey’, which shows the band doing the best with their instrumentation and lyrics. The way the music drops in and out throughout in accordance with the vocals is an enticing aspect of the track that makes it stand out amongst the track listing.
At just over 28 minutes, the EP falls just short of feeling like an album, with quite a considerable length and number of tracks for a small release. The production feels very rich, despite being a little samey throughout, but if you’ve heard a track or two from Orchards, there are no surprises here, and as a fan of the band you’re likely to be more than satisfied with this release. Despite the upbeat production, the lyrics portray very negative emotions and the contrast between the two is very interesting to consume as a listener. In many ways the production is reminiscent of Paramore’s After Laughter, extremely impressive when you compare the powerhouse of a band like Paramore to a little band like Orchards. This EP is significant because it takes everything Orchards have excelled in so far and expresses it collectively, it’ll be interesting to see how their sound continues to mature with future releases.