We’ve collected together a few of the nicest reviews for our recent album Clocks and Josefina EP.
It’s been described as “a voyage through a classical pop dream”, “a beautiful, ethereal collection of pop songs, ballads and instrumentals”, “an ode to British cinema from times past”, “like carnival floats in a northern town” and “a piece of relaxed bliss you can gently soothe your soul with”!
Please click on the links if you’d like to see the full reviews. Or please pop over to our Bandcamp and have a listen. The album has collaborations with Darren Hayman, Model Village, Gordon McIntyre, Haiku Salut and loads more:
Reviews for ‘Clocks’ album
A gentle, summer afternoon in the country kind of record, with blissed out flutes, weaving violins and some irresistible melodies. It’s almost an advert for the indiepop scene… and not many adverts sound this good. Treacle You Should Probably Go To Sleep, written and sung by Simon Love of The Loves, is a fascinating little song. What starts with a Disney-ish hue, soon transforms into a sultry 60s number that owes as much to The Beach Boys as The Supremes. Train Tracks for Wheezy, featuring Haiku Salut, is a wurlitzer of a song that picks up pace until it reaches a dizzying climax.
Clocks, is a humble yet ambitious record that stops upon full lives lived and harrowed love stories that span decades. In between it traverses musical landscapes, makes an ode to British cinema from times past, and sings the listener a lullaby. It’s the little things that make Clocks a pleasure, and A Little Orchestra prove that the small things in life are just as important and wonderful as everything else.
Beats Per Minute
Clocks features collaborations with Gordon McIntyre, Darren Hayman, and Simon Love, and shines like a rainbow though a dark grey sky, just like you’d expect it to. It’s is a voyage through a classically infused pop dream, where classical interludes coloured in gothic fairytales leap out like the rooftops of old town Prague in-between the pop splendour of ‘The Permanent Way’, ‘East Coat’, ‘Josefina’, and ‘Treacle” like Edward Gorey drawing Mordecai’s Diary.
A Little Orchestra’s debut album Clocks manages to both confirm and surprise expectations in one go. Its train of wistful, nostalgic, anglo-indie-phile songs roll through your speakers like carnival floats in a northern town. ‘Treacle, you should probably go to sleep’ (with Simon Love, from The Loves) has a great hook, beautiful swathes of cinematic strings and is the most unlike any of its sibling tracks. The stunning vocals of ‘Josefina’ (with Model Village) and ‘East Coast’, a moribund tale featuring McIntyre’s deadpan delivery are other highlights.
As indicated by its charming debut album, A Little Orchestra is one of those classical outfits that seems more comfortable playing its tunes in the English countryside than the formal symphony hall. Listening to the group’s eleven-track collection (the follow-up to an earlier 2013 EP Josefina) is an absolute pleasure, especially when it mixes things up by juxtaposing instrumentals with a generous number of vocal songs… the lovely “Clocks, Part 2” could pass as a Torke homage, given its emphasis on bright woodwinds and percussion, while “Footprints in Snow” (written by Andy Hudson of Pocketbooks and featuring vocals by Emma Winston) exudes a theatrical stateliness that recalls Nyman’s Prospero’s Books.
The whole album is a refreshing and engaging listening from start-to-end. The collaborations start with the delightful summery Josefina (with Model Village) and Beat Surrender favourite Darren Hayman adds his not inconsiderable talents to another highlight on the album The Permanent Way.
Avec une liste d’invités ressemblant à un who’s who d’une certaine idée de l’indie-pop… le premier album d’A Little Orchestra avait tout pour m’exciter grave. … Cela donne une certaine variété musicale, les guests ayant des univers bien personnels mais qui restent dans les mêmes sphères… et une très grande variété vocale, entre le cocker triste Darren, le mâle mélancolique Gordon, le canaille Simon et des voix féminines très belles mais bien plus sages.
Dans Le Mur… Du Son
The London-based dectet’s first full-length record is a beautiful, ethereal collection of pop songs, ballads and instrumentals, bursting at the seams with tangible warmth – the perfect aural accompaniment to a balmy summer day. Clocks’ is a wholly original and impressive debut, displaying an ambitious streak that belies the modest stature suggested by the group’s moniker. 8/10
Peter Salter – Album review
A piece of relaxed bliss you can gently soothe your soul with. Model Village providing some lovely vocals on ‘Josafina’ which sweeps along majestically with grace and beauty, an indie pop gem. Darren Hayman of Hefner ‘fame’ appears on ‘The Permanent Way’, great vocals and another triumph of a tune. ‘Pigtle 21’ is a stunner too, lovely with strings and vocals to boot, gently glides and drifts past effortlessly cool to the close.
Fundamentally A Little Orchestra are like a school band who never left school, they just grew up and went on to make amazing pop songs instead… No matter who guests on any of these songs, the arrangements are never anything short of impeccable.
The Sound of Confusion
Reviews for Josefina EP
It’s really quite beautiful. The lead track ’Josefina’ is sung by the sweet, slightly aching voice of Rachel from Model Village. This song is summer. Not Beach Boys summer or Ibiza summer, but a chilled glass of white in Whitby summer, as the sun starts to sink and you pull a cardy over your shoulders and think about how you’re going to spend you’re evening as you watch the sun set slowly over the harbour. That kind of summer. The song is effortlessly enchanting.
The Josefina EP is opened by its title track; a rolling, strolling indie-pop gem that is cinematic but in the way of flickering projections of home-made escapades and not wide-screen productions. The syncopation between ebbing strings and sighed female vocals is instantly reminiscent of Camera Obscura but here the atmosphere is more playful than bitter-sweet; there is the same air of longing but it breezes through landscapes that are much more serene. The five-track EP’s closer [Clocks, part 2] is its highlight; an instrumental ditty that in just under two minutes evokes the wizardry of the soundtrack work of Yann Tiersen and Ryuichi Sakamoto at their most light-hearted in a manner not too dissimilar to past partners-in-crime Haiku Salot, but despite this similarity it is here, possibly only here, where they truly stand alone.
It’s not often you hear a song like A Little Orchestra’s ‘Josefina’, a song that should be given away free on the NHS to those suffering with stress. Together with Cambridge’s Model Village, the lead track from A Little Orchestra’s new ep is simply sublime.
A Layer of Chips
ALO on the radio!
Songs from our album were played on the radio by… Gideon Coe, Tom Ravenscroft and Tom Robinson (BBC 6Music), Adam Walton (BBC Radio Wales), Bethan Elfyn, Ruth Barnes and Simon Raymonde (Amazing Radio), Shell Zenner (Bolton FM), Radio Nowhere and on the Edinburgh Man podcast. Further afield, the album was Planeta Amarillo’s ‘album of the week’ in Spain, and tracks were played on New York radio station WFUV and the French radio station Canal B.
There’s interviews with Monster Bobby and Natalie about the album in the following places: