Since the dawn of the 2000s, French band Orwell, led by Jérôme Didelot, have been charting an original path on the land of Indie music production. Fashions and trends seem to have no hold on the group based in Nancy, which has developed an aesthetic of its own, between French delicacy and musical sophistication.
Past UK press
“Splendid baroque pop from North East France… Le Génie Humain is set apart by its beautiful arrangements: strings waft in and out, flutes add colour while the warm vocals evoke sunny days by the rivers… An exquisite and subtle album” **** MOJO – Kieron Tyler (June 2009)
“It’s truly irresistible pop that instantly transports the listener to imaginary Laurel Canyon pool parties or scenes from French detective films that were never made.” The Daily Express - Robert Spellman (August 2009)
“We may have to rethink the adjective Orwellian if this French band keep on making albums this delightful.” The Sunday Times – Mark Edwards (April 2010)
“Orwell are a wonderful French band centering on the voice and compositions of Jérôme Didelot. Jérôme is a strong melodic songwriter in the classic mould, with overtones of Bacharach and Brian Wilson.” Jonathan Coe – (March 2011)
Five years have passed since the last album, Exposition universelle . For this return in the form of a Parcelle brillante (Bright Segment in English), Jérôme Didelot immersed himself in the stories of the writer Theodore Sturgeon, to whom he borrowed the title of the album. After coordinating a publication dedicated to this pioneer of science fiction, the melodist left the themes of difference — the one that brings out new possibilities — or loneliness, dear to Sturgeon, permeate the songs of Parcelle brillante .
Les mains de Bianca, mesmerizing ballad where wind instruments come to measure themselves with electronics, Lone, ode to marginal childhood, and of course the title piece are directly inspired by the writings of the American author.
On Parcelle brillante we find the rich instrumental palette, in the service of sophisticated arrangements, which has made the mark of Orwell’s sound since the first album, Des lendemains (released in the U.S. with the title Following Days). Dérivation, entry into instrumental matter, diverts us from the usual currents to take us on a parallel circuit, developing a majestic theme that evokes the great John Barry. Two female singers stand out alongside Jérôme Didelot. Armelle Pioline (Holden, Superbravo) deploys her all-French class on the bouncy Jamais assez against a background of marimba, strings and saxophone. As for the Japanese Sugar Me, she adds a touch of exoticism to the song Immature, a sinuous melody that would not have denied Gilbert O’Sullivan or Sean O’Hagan. Orwell even makes a foray into a less usual register, an acoustic pop at the gates of jazz, as David Sylvian formulated so well in the 80s and 90s, on the track Rien ne pourra me rendre sage. Finally, Orwell doesn’t forget to make catchy choruses on Pourquoi savoir? or Les ondes.
Discography : 2000 - Orwell (mini album - Europop 2000 / PopLane) / 2002 - Des lendemains (Europop 2000 / Wagram) / 2005 - L’archipel (Twin Fizz / Discograph) / 2007 - Le génie humain (Twin Fizz / Rue Stendhal) / 2011 - Continental (Europop 2000 / Rue Stendhal) / 2015 - Exposition universelle (Europop 2000 / Rallye Label / Hot Puma Records / Rue Stendhal)