The Orielles

Catching our attention with their DIY aesthetic, nostalgic influences and slightly surreal (and super catchy) sunshiney songs, The Orielles are sisters Esme Dee Hand Halford (Vocals and Bass), Sidonie B Hand Halford (Drums) and their mate Henry Wade (Guitar). 
Hailing from Halifax, West Yorkshire, they released their debut album 'Silver Dollar Moment' earlier this year with legendary indie label Heavenly Recordings, featuring lyrics inspired by everything from niche cinema and literature to physiological details of domestic animals… “So many pop songs are about relationships or growing up or whatever” they say, “we wanted to write a few songs that make people think, what the hell is that about?” 
We met The Orielles in North London to shoot them in our 'Food Baby' collection and got to know them over some Vegan Pizza... 
Date: 18th July 2018
Photography by: Lauren Maccabee

Do you think where you've grown up has been influential on your music? 

Sid: Yeah definitely, as it was difficult to find our feet initially which pushed us to try harder, look outside of Halifax for inspiration and make friends in Sheffield and surrounding cities. 

Esme: We would say we make 'Northern Music' and that kind of sums up our loose, baggy, quite chill vibe I'd say. 

Henry: That's our word of the moment – baggy.  


Would you give any advice to other bands starting out from the same area? 

Henry: Get out…?

Esme: Haha! Yeah that's the truth though, get out of the area and search around to find scenes in different cities. 

Henry: You don't want that hometown mentality – getting comfortable playing to your mates and then you go to a city for the first time and it shocks you when no-one turns up. 

Sid: But we started in the opposite way didn’t we... 

Esme: We started playing cities first, then went back to Halifax and realised we didn’t actually have any fans in Halifax haha. After a few years it’s a bit different but... 

Henry: We've got a plaque in Halifax now! 

Esme: We did a record signing when our album first came out in the smallest venue in the UK and they put a plaque up outside! 

The Orielles
"The Orielles, Keep it Baggy. "

What's it like being in a band with your sister Es and Sid? 

Sid: I love it, I wouldn't want to be in a band with anyone else.. I couldn't imagine it. 

Esme: I think because we're sisters, if we do are argue it gets sorted in like 10 mins. 

Henry: In the last 2 years I've never seen you argue though – knowing you two you probably argue via the mind... telekinesis. 

Sid: Yeah, we're actually arguing right now. 


I heard you all met at a you have a party trick? 

Esme: Oooh, we're all good at northern soul dancing...we learnt it recently for a music video (Blue Suitcase, Disco Wrist) and we're all sick at it. 

Henry: We got told by one of the guys on the set for the video to stop thinking about your legs and feel from your heart. 

Sid: It's all about the feeling. 

Esme: Every part of your body is loose and you just feel it in your heart. 

Henry: That was a really inspiring day, they all spoke so passionately about Northern Soul. 

Sid: When I first saw those guys dancing, I was like...I'm gonna cry! 

The Orielles The Orielles
The Orielles

What's the meaning behind your album title, Silver Dollar Moment? 

Esme: We went to Canada about two and a half years ago. We'd been travelling for hours, played a show as soon as we landed and then had another show at 2am at a Toronto bar called'The Silver Dollar Rooms'. We thought it was going to be really bad because we were so jet lagged and tired, but it ended up being one of the best shows we've ever played. It told us that it doesn't really matter for not many people to be at a show, it’s the vibe and how you feel about it . So now we apply 'Silver Dollar Moment' to anything that's unexpectedly good. 

Henry: Like the album! 

How important is maintaining a DIY aesthetic as you get bigger as a band? 

Esme: It's something we definitely value as a band…but for a progressing band it's sometimes hard to continue to be 'DIY' in all aspects of your career. Most importantly though I think it's just down to maintaining the approachable feel, almost like anyone can be a part of it because that's the kind of thing we're into. We've had mates shoot our videos, sell our merch at shows and even hop in the van for a couple of shows before and I think that's the kind of way in which you can always continue to promote a DIY ethic as a band.    

Tell us about your album artwork... 

Esme: The artwork was designed by a guy called Tim Head who has being doing a lot of work with us lately including poster and t-shirt designs. The ideas we pitched to him basically just suggested that we wanted something colourful and bold, similar to the artworks of ESG, Stone Roses and Happy Mondays records etc. When he came back to us with the artwork we just loved the simplicity of it and the use of colours was perfect!  

The Orielles The Orielles

If you had a time machine and could go to any time period, era or moment what would it be? 

Esme: I always split between going to the 90's Hacienda or like 70's Cuba or Miami, the aesthetics' so over the top. 

Henry: San Francisco in the 70's. Or Ancient Greece. 

Sid: I'd have loved to have been at the first Sex Pistols gig. The one that everyone says they were there! Or the Hacienda definitely. 

A lot of your song lyrics are inspired by literature, TV and film – what are your top 5 film recommendations? 

Esme: Hmmm shall we take one each? All time favourite film is Paris, Texas.

Sid: I'm going to say Wings of Desire. Two Wim Wenders films there, as we're big fans! 

Henry: I'm not as much of a film expert! TV.... 

Esme: Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Always.  

Sid: Trying to think of a really wacky film now... Waking Life.  

Esme: …and any Krzysztof Kieślowski films, the Three Colours Trilogy. 

The Orielles The Orielles
The Orielles

Our Autumn collection is inspired by our love of food, but what's your ultimate go-to meal to make? 

Esme: I'm just good at making smashed avocado on toast with scrambled tofu. I'm good at the breakfasts 

Sid: I'm probably better at Teas... 

Henry: We were on quite a tight budget in the studio and Sid made lots of 'Hash' for Tea - Sweet Potato, Chickpeas, Kale..  

Esme: What would you make us for lunch then Henry? 

Henry: Chips and Dips for lunch – I think Kidney Bean with Chipotle, Hummus, bit of Harissa and Tabasco. 

If you could describe your sound in one dish or meal, what would it be? 

Esme: Tough question! It would definitely have to be something varied as I think our album offers a lot of different flavours, so maybe like Indian food, curry or poppadum's with tonnes of different pickles and chutneys!  

What would we find you doing if you weren't making music? 

Sid: Probably in a bar haha... 

Henry: We've been doing it for that long I can't think really, that's what I remember of my childhood! 

Esme: I'm a student at the moment so I guess I'd be doing that more successfully than I am... 

The Orielles

You guys started playing music when you were pretty young, did you ever face any set-backs because of your age?  

Esme: It doesn't really trouble us much anymore, but it used to... We've even played a gig before, turned up and they've ID'd us all and sent us home without playing – this was when Henry was 17.  

Henry: I've been kicked out of one of our gigs before, once we've played it as well. But I think it's more the reviewing side of it... 

Esme:  It's fine to say we're a young band, because that’s the truth - but when reviewers are constantly like...they're a good band for their age, that's not really a way to measure how good of a band you are. 

Henry: And they always generalise and call us all 17 when none of us are 17 any more...  

Esme: Yeah, its worst for Sid cos she's 22, not still in high school! 


What would your slogan be? 

Esme: The Orielles, Keep it Baggy. 

Henry: The Orielles, keep making messy music. Someone said that to us once... in Brussels I think.

Sid: …and it was the biggest compliment.  

The Orielles