Ela OrleansParental Guidance
Christmas Fell Away
Released: 14th December 2017
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Swooping in to save / doom Christmas, Glasgow's adopted sister Ela Orleans enchants anew with a surprise, long-form treatment of the Christmas spectre. Originally, Orleans had planned to make a single, one-off song based on Cathal McCormack's The Road with a Christmas-theme. Not one to shirk from the pathos inherent in the darkest season, "Christmas Fell Away" bloomed into a 40 minute suite. As you may expect, proceedings here aren't full of ebullience, with Ela's voice perfectly capturing the ghostly nature of memories past. Christmas Fell Away opens up in duration, with a balance of vocal arrangements and instrumental passages that strikes the right notes. As with all music composed by this unique artist, there's a sense of beauty that touches every note.
"It's the future. The world doesn't look like The Road, yet, but there are wobbles to the weather system on a massive scale. Everything's out of whack. Dozens of huge storm systems, floods and so forth, are taking out thousands of people at a time across the world, damaging infrastructure. Nuclear stations leak in various parts of the world, hugely ambitious alternative energy structures are left unfinished. Droughts dismantle the food supply. Incessant wildfires on unseen scales raise the temperature. All that. People are, you know, grave! They're in the process of trying to adjust to a new kind of life, one without easy access to basic amenities, trying to keep some kind of local and global security, scrambling to try to fix what they realise is too late. Among this, perhaps in one of the relatively more sheltered pockets of the world, is somebody watching their opulent estate crumble. Perhaps in a small amount of denial about the global catastrophe still, but mostly just uncaring. Perhaps it's a rich matriarch who's allowed herself to fall too much for her lover, and he's abandoned her to join some hopeless struggle. That's quite good innit. So. Among all this destruction, the woman loves the idea of commemorations such as Christmas still, even though the situation and weather make grotesque parodies of them. But now she's giving up even on that. Everything's ruined since even her lover has given up on her."