Artist's albums of 2017: Orphan Colours

We asked some friendly acts to tell us who released some of their favourite albums in 2017. This selection are from Orphan Colours frontman Steve Llewellyn, and mix languid guitar with classic rock.

The War On Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

I love how this band blends digital and analogue sounds to create an atmosphere and soundscape that immediately draws you into the fabric of their songs. It's great to hear the vocals pushed to the top of the mixes on this record more so than on Lost In The Dream. Adam Granduciel has a sweet airy presence to his voice and that's showcased to great effect. I was hooked on my first listen and i haven’t stopped listening to it since. Top class.

Andy Shauf - The Bearer of Bad News

'The Man On Stage' popped up on my Spotify discovery playlist a few months back and immediately caught my attention. Amazing really considering it consists of one verse and one chorus and comes in at less than two minutes, but it proves the power of his tunes. On first listen it’s got the low fi minimalist charm that Blake Mills’ first record had. Simple arrangements, organically recorded with loads of character.  But most of all great songs sung by a great singer - what a voice! Apparently the record was all arranged and played himself. It’s humble and mellow with a confessional edge.

Jeff Tweedy - Together At Last

Ah, this man! He can do no wrong in my eyes, I must confess. He’s such a gifted songwriter and a stand out vocalist. Being a fan of Wilco it makes it such a treat to hear these songs as bare-bones vocal and guitar. It’s like he’s sitting on my couch playing them to me for the first time and saying “what d’ya think of this one”. I think they’re awesome dude, crack on!

Jon Latham - Lifers

Straight outta left field! My bandmate Dave played the lead track off this album to me ('Last In Line') and I was like “who the hell is this guy and why have I never heard of him!” It’s highly likely that you’ve never heard of him either with only 1319 listeners on Spotify. But you’re gonna listen to him now, believe me. With a rocking band akin to The Heartbreakers and a voice somewhere between Ryan Adams and Jason Isbell there’s not much here to dislike. I listened to this album two or three times trying to find a reason this guy barely has any followers, but nope I couldn’t find one. This album is class from start to finish. Give it a spin, you won’t be disappointed. “I’m just a cry cry baby, a coward and a cheat - half the man I promised I was last week. I’m a second place finish, but in record time. First to volunteer to be the last in line”.

Valley Queen - Destroyer EP

This band has swagger and their music brings a feeling of freedom and excitement. That’s such a key thing for me. Perhaps there are better songs out there, or better recordings, but there’s something about them that gets me bobbing my head with a big smile on my face and that’s worth much more. They definitely have that west coast Laurel Canyon vibe and I’m all for that. Natalie Carol’s voice is reminiscent of Joni Mitchell or Patti Smith and the band are rocking. 'My Man' is a stand out track, with a gritty driving rhythm and Carol’s vocals soaring over the top. Can’t wait to hear their full album when it comes.

Steve's band Orphan Colours are releasing their debut album on 26th January 2018. You can find out more about the band including tour dates at their website.

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