Au-Dessus De Moi couldn’t be anymore French if it tried, which given where Orwell reside, is perhaps not surprising. It has the High Llamas chilled out vibe, with pipes creating a none more blissful state of mind and those delicious Gallic tones. It’s very sixties, and could soundtrack a seduction scene in an art house movie. Tout Entier is café music played on a fairground organ; psychedelic images permeating your mind while Elementaire is a bouncy piece of oh so cool fun. Le Bon Endroit goes for the full tilt pop classic, and sounds like the long forgotten Tahiti 80. This turns out to be unsurprising, given that further scrutiny reveals that band’s Mederic Gontier plays guitar on the album. Septembre is the best yet, introducing some lovely female vocals for a duet, a sumptuous piece of pop, like prime time Cardigans relocated. Plus L’Infini is a twinkling jazzy little mood piece, J’ai Tout Oublie tootles along, again showing an infinity with the mood scapes of the High Llamas and their twinkling delights while Sun Holiday is another gorgeous piece of pop, something like the Beach Boys at their peak, all those gorgeous sun kissed vocals and hazy, lazy melodies. The title track is a dramatic instrumental, which drops down into a middle bit, where random phrases are uttered, then up again to the grandiosity. Sans Precedent is a whimsical little ditty, beautifully sung, with a gorgeous bucolic melody and De Ce Monde is a lovely, if slightly inferior companion piece to Sans Precedent. Slow Down is a gorgeous epic to close the album; it could be ELO, or Procul Harum or many more besides. It simply plods yet manages to sound big, a perfect summation of the band and their lovely album.
Le Genie Humain is released by Folkwit Records on June 1st
Orwell's website is here