In October 2022 The Orielles released their third album “Tableau”. It’s a brilliant experimental pop double album. “The Instrument” shared here is a belter, with the kind of nagging guitar line Alan Rankine would weave through early Associates’ songs.

The Orielles are sisters Esmé Hand-Halford (vocals and bass), Sidonie Hand-Halford (drums) and Henry Carlyle-Wade (guitar). Originally from Halifax, West Yorkshire, the band has been based in Manchester for the past 5 years.

The album is a sprawling (in the best possible sense of the word) masterpiece. If you’ve ever enjoyed adventurous music falling loosely within the ‘pop’ idiom while pushing the boundaries (I’m thinking Stereolab, Broadcast, The Associates, Talk Talk (in their post-pop era), Movietone, Slowdive, Tortoise… ) this is a contemporary album of adventurous avant-pop. “Tableau” sometimes dips into experimental almost neo-classical, and free jazz improv territory without losing that melodic pop heart. There’s an ecstatic quality to the experimentation at times, as songs break down and re-shape, and the album works as an immersive experience more than a collection of standalone songs (though it has plenty of those as well).

Of all the recent Bandcamp purchases I’ve made this year, “Tableau” is the one I keep returning to most.

There’s also a live album – “Live at Stoller Hall” – released this month from a set of mostly “Tableau” tracks.