Glasgow based Ela Orleans’ new album, Upper Hell, is the follow up to 2012’s double album, Tumult in Clouds.
The tagline of “movies for ears” has been attached to Orleans work as the basis of her music creates the freedom for the listener to use their own conjecture to explore the possibilities of the variety of songs and sound scapes presented.
Previous releases vary in recording technique, found recordings, field recordings and studio recordings are placed strategically to build delicate collages of incredible range and scope.
Upper Hell sees Orleans distance herself from the soundtrack template and the result is a collection of strong songs that stand together in a coherent structured LP.
‘The Sky and the Ghost’, ‘Secret Hands’ and ‘City of Dis’ provide the most conventional single type songs, the former being the one of the most beautiful melodies on the album.
Orleans’ songs now bounce around a more confident manner; still slightly cold, but with Upper Hell the songs are more ceramic than icy.
The cinematic narrative is defined, but the thread linking the songs results in the feeling of watching a high definition version rather than an old 35mm print that Clouds and those before it carried; highly emotive and highly deserving of the praise it has and is continuing to collect.