It feels as though indie-pop is taken a lot more seriously nowadays than it once was, perhaps because of the influx of acts like The 1975 or Fickle Friends coming across as – for lack of a better term – “acceptable”, or maybe because with everything being as dreary and downcast as it currently is, it’s nice to have something lightweight and fun on standby. And for what might just be the cream of the crop of the newest breed, here’s Brighton’s Orchards with their new EP Losers / Lovers, mixing one part indie-pop with a slight math-rock twang for something entirely excellent.
And make no mistake, if there’s one band in the indie scene that can be pegged for true greatness right now, it would be Orchards, as Losers / Lovers is about as spot-on as pop appeal goes, doubly so for a new band. There’s a spry, bubblegum skip to the likes of Luv U 2 and Double Vision that genuinely couldn’t be more appealing, and coupled with the tropical sparkles and twinkles of the production and Lucy Evers’ understated but perfectly balanced vocal, it operates on the sort of washed-over, sun-kissed vibes that make for ideal summer listening.
That’s not even mentioning the fact that these tracks are catchy as sin, too. This is an eight-track EP, but not once does the quality of dancing, playful hook-craft diminish, even up to the final track Darling with its glittering synths to compliment just how light and sweet it all sounds. And sure, lyrically there’s little that really piques the interest to dive in deeper (save for an unusual inclusion about the declining bee population on Honey), but indie-pop as a genre never really needs to be all that deep, and by sticking to their more accessible, surface-level offerings, Losers / Lovers ends up all the better for it.
And given just how well everything fits together here, and wonderfully Orchards have established themselves, Losers / Lovers is possibly one of the best breakthrough releases of the year. A slight case of thinness aside (which, even then, is more a feature than a flaw), this is high-quality indie-pop from start to finish, enough to go toe-to-toe with any of the acts the mainstream has already snapped up, and hopefully Orchards’ gateway into the bigger things they deserve. Especially for the summer, you really can’t go wrong with this.
For fans of: The Aces, Prides, flor
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Losers / Lovers’ by Orchards is released on 6th July on Big Scary Monsters.