Orange Yellow Red: Demo (Self-Release, 2007)

by Jason

Orange Yellow RedThe new-gaze scene in the UK is exploding and Orange Yellow Red is in the midst of this explosion with their dreamy pop and fuzzed out guitars. Emma Hayward and Philip Mayor reside in the village of Pagham on the south coast of Britain and produce incredibly beautiful dream-pop compositions. Hayward’s vocals are gorgeous and angelic, whispering into the listener’s ears, lulling the audience into her submission. They have sent me a demo of brilliant tunes that portend great things for this duo. I would go so far as saying that Clairecords should snatch this duo up while they are not committed to a label. They would be an invaluable edition with their recent signings.

The demo begins with “Into Your Arms.” With a marching cadence of a snare, guitars glitter while bass provides the necessary glue. Hayward’s mesmerizing vocals come into the mix and she immediately pulls in the listener. Perhaps this is the new Slowdive, not that they don’t sound like themselves, but I find that their sound and caliber of song writing has the same potential as the shoegaze giant. The brightness of the song is underscored with a subtle melancholy. Mayor provides backing vocals that are sparse, but perfectly placed and at times embedded in the mix. This leads into “All the Hopes.” This is a perfect dream-pop gem that is brief and to the point. Although brief, the track never feels rushed. Patience is their tool while Hayward sings perfect harmonies with her melodies. Mayor provides great production and the guitar work is subtle, but jangles just perfectly under the vocals. Drums and bass hold the song together as they sit in the pocket and allow Hayward’s vocals and Mayor’s guitars to shine. Eventually, they trade off and Mayor demonstrates that he, too, has an amazing voice.

“The Sea” begins with a melancholy tone with guitars playing off one another dotted with drums and bass. Mayor takes the lead and demonstrates a sort of Robert Smith in his vocal phrasing and intonation. Hayward joins the mix and sings the chorus. Their voices play off one another perfectly and neither are lacking in warmth and dreaminess. The lyrics match the mood as Hayward sings “when all the hope is lost in side.” “Shine” begins with the same melancholy tone as Hayward and Mayor provide background “oooo’s” to the mix ala the Beach Boys. Although I call this a “demo,” it sounds like something far from it. This could easily be a major release on a fantastic label. “Shattered” rounds out the five tunes and begins once again with dreamy, jangling guitar and wonderful dreamlike vocals from heaven. This is probably my favorite vocals on the whole disc. Hayward’s vocals are embedded in the mix and blend into the mix beautifully. Her voice gives the song depth and she fills in the gaps as her vox float on top of the mood evoking music.

Orange Yellow Red are definitely a band on the top of my faves list. They compose perfect dream-gaze pop that floats through the speakers like hypnotic dreamy perfection. If a label doesn’t snatch OYR up asap, I will be shocked. I highly recommend you go to their site, listen to their tunes, and keep watch for a major release.

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