EP Review: The Leaning – The Orange Night

Brighton duo The Leaning have released their hypnotic, otherworldly, and strikingly unique new EP, ‘The Orange Night’. Encompassing elements of atmospheric electronic music, indie, and psychedelic rock, the EP explores the band’s varied influences to showcase their full sonic breadth.

Opening with the otherworldly ‘The Orange Night’, The Leaning sets the tone with cinematic Blade Runner-esque synths, pitch-shifted and reverb-drenched guitar tones, and hypnotic vocals reminiscent of Morcheeba. Like a meditative hymn, the opener grows into a choppy electronic beat characterized by jerky high hats, while a driving guitar riff propels the track forward to another engulfing, cinematic trip-hop section.

Elsewhere on the EP, ‘As The Ladies Dance’ presents a soul-tinged vocal delivery, submerged in the same wall of atmospheric reverbs and otherworldly synths but driven forward by tight live drums. A 7-minute-long epic, the track is at once ethereal and infectiously emotive.

The dark psychedelic ‘Stranger’ once again showcases the compelling, commanding lead vocal that weaves through poetic storytelling lyricism over a swelling, reverb-drenched backdrop.

‘Beyond The Second Door’ delves further into the psychedelic undertones permeating the EP as the vocals move between vocoder-tinted verses and rich soulful choruses, drenched in swirling effects with melodies and chord progressions reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s album ‘Wish You Were Here’. The EP’s highlight, the blend of subtle electronics with twinkling arpeggiators, along with the overarching feel of a Western soundtrack, gives the track a strikingly unique flavor and sound palette. It combines the reverby atmospheric approach of shoegaze with a host of contrasting songwriting approaches melded in to great effect.

Overall, ‘The Orange Night’ isn’t for everyone. It’s slow, meandering, and relies heavily on its atmosphere, but all of this is also its strength. Strikingly vibrant and unique, beautifully arranged and wonderfully rich, it packs infectious melodies and huge, otherworldly soundscapes, making it a brilliant introduction to the duo.

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