Single review: Edinburgh School for the Deaf – Orpheus Descending/Orpheus Ascending (Bubblegum)

Opener of their new Double A-side, ‘Orpheus Descending’, starts with a Thor-like bassline (and I mean heavy), and immediately reminds one of the confident acuity of Arcade Fire or Interpol. “Your breath like paraffin, my heart is a flame” sings Kieran Naughton – it’s refreshing to hear a lyric as good as that. The song’s refrain of “goodbye, goodbye” is embalmed by abdomen-busting bass and cat clawing snare. “Where I am, death is not/where death is, well, I am not” Kieran and co-chieftain Ashley Campbell aver – dual harmony from both male and female is a nice touch.


On the flipside of the release is ‘Orpheus Ascending’ where Ashley sings a quiet lament offering a different side of the band. There’s an obvious Jesus & Mary Chain influence though the musical tapestry weaved is very much unique. There’s a twanging instrumental in the background, and if the instrument of choice is unclear it is also unimportant.

ESFTD seem to have an imperial belief in what they are doing that manifests itself as intransigence – but on this single, who can fault them?

Words: Ronnie McCluskey


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