I’ll admit it, I first heard of Queen Orlenes through producer Tim Powell’s epic remix for ‘Bones.’ On their EP ‘Helicopters,’ the track sounds like something Feist might have contributed to a Broken Social Scene session. While Powell places singer Brooke X’s casual contralto over an insistent backbeat for his mix, it sounds equally powerful on the band’s own recordings. In fact, this ability to expand and contract on demand marks a rare skill that Brooke and band pull off convincingly.
There’s the sharp opener ‘Helicopters’ for instance (streaming below). Here’s a song with a groove as haunting as anything you might be missing from Portishead, complete with a rousing wash of strings from the Bergersen String Quartet. Equally, the other three tracks on the EP highlight a group with the confidence to effortlessly balance dynamic power over steady groove. Even with their first release now just a couple months old, this is a group that sounds like they’ve been making it happen for years. So hopefully they’ll be announcing some new dates soon… - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)