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Ela Orleans


La Station Radar

Released: 8th January 2021

CD£12.99 Buy Now In Stock. Dispatched on Monday.
LP£19.99 Buy Now In Stock. Dispatched on Monday.

Reissued by original label La Station Radar on vinyl (limited to 500) and CD

Originally making music with Glasgow experimental tropicalists Hasslehound, Ela Orleans began creating deeply atmospheric songs based around plunderphonia, degrading loops, pop structures and, above all, a melodic sense that intertwined with the artist's pure voice as a means of escape. Lost is her debut album, originally released in 2009 by the then-Glasgow label La Station Radar.

Lost, with a young Orleans glancing wistfully from the sleeve, soon became a totemic release in the burgenoing blogospheric "lo fi pop" realm. At the time the democratisation of music-making technology combined with a network of intrepid listeners on the internet created a world of possibility, a new punk filled with wonderful and inspiring amateurs and outsiders. Orleans may have crafted her early work like patchwork, stitching dissident inspirations together with musical interludes and song but underneath her early explorations was a shining, utterly unique personality and artistic vision. Lost is a welcoming, if psychedelically obtuse soundworld, it's this world seen through the looking glass held up by a fearless artist just beginning to realise her own voice.

Using loops of obscure sound sources, the faded pop music of yester viewed behind a gauze of pirated software and effected string instruments, Lost is like Phillip Jeck compositions with a ghostly chanteuse serenading the patrons of a milk bar on mars at a closing time that never comes. The music Orleans layers on top of eachother on Lost is so deeply evocative, not only of the ghosts of the samples included, but also of a hidden hand behind the music. What emerges in the cracks of these songs is a whole new character, Ela's music itself becomes the lead character in the movie for our ears. It's an alien being, the being that fell to earth from the crack in the heavens, riding in on chariots of scratchy yeh yeh records and the music heard on carousels as the power goes off and they spin on their own juice.

As atmospheric as these soundtracks are it's Orleans' vocal that ties everything together. The thread that stitches a single melodic narrative through out, hers is a voice like a blanket, a comforter in the inky night. The song Myriads, for example, sparkles in under a wintery moon with Orleans swooning dressed in a gown of reverb, while Something Higher uses extremely tremolo guitar criss-crossing its hiss under a preternaturally vocal performance.

Lost is simply an utterly unique debut even for that mercurial time of experimentation and openness. It's a record that creates itself from the embers of the past, it's almost its own personality, guided by the arch medium Ela Orleans. We're thrilled that one of our favourite records of the 21st Century has finally been repressed.