Their name may suggest it and the music merely confirms it. Yes, Orange Yellow Red are a shoegaze act signed to the very shoegaze-orientated label, Saint Marie Records. Whereas others choose noise, on ‘A Rose Made Of Galaxies’, this UK band opt for the jangly, dreamy, poppy route and stick to this winning formula throughout.
The description of second track and single ‘All The Hopes’ as “sounding almost like a more concise Cocteau Twins, being produced by Brian Wilson” may be praising the song a little too highly but it’s certainly a very likeable dreamy pop song which makes one instantly feel of summer. Emma Hayward expresses her words clearly and with a distinctly English air of innocence; recalling acts such as Snowblind and The Sundays in her bittersweet delivery. Meanwhile, guitarist Ross King and multi-instrumentalist Philip John Mayor provide the drive and chiming melody. In fact Mayor tries lead vocals himself and his doleful tones are perfectly suited to the despair and longing of ‘The Sea’ and the wistful ‘Some Things Are’.
Towards the middle of the album, the trio’s appeal begins to lose its earlier edge. ‘A Long Goodbye’ and ‘Shattered’ are pleasant and tuneful enough but rarely venture beyond their comfort zone. Thankfully their stir from this relative slumber to deliver the downbeat yet sparkling ‘Always Tomorrow’ and – just like the situation with labelmates Scarlet Youth – the bonus track tacked on at the end of the album, the dramatic, exuberant ‘Of Yesterday’, turns out to be one of the stand out songs.
Overall, ‘A Rose Made Of Galaxies’ is a strong, if slightly one-paced album. Importantly, although the record prompts one to think of any number of female-fronted indie bands, the band have still formed their own identity; creating infectious songs which are balanced on the knife edge between despair and euphoria.
Bondage & Discipline, Scarlet Youth