Interview by Barry Egan
It’s powerful stuff. So powerful that you’d be surprised if this young band weren’t very big indeed in the not-too-distant future — not least because their sound in moments has echoes of Coldplay channelling Crosby Stills & Nash with bells and possibly whistles on.
But don’t take my word for it. Slate recently rhapsodised on Lay A Stone thus — citing excitedly how it “swells around melodic, considered guitar arrangements, swooning with accomplished vocal harmonies and optimistic atmospherics, and best of all, the lads sound like they’re really having a good time playing together.”
Quite. You can sense that palpably when they step up to the microphones at the Windmill Lane Sessions on Independent.ie to perform.
You can also sense just as palpably that Orchid Collective are on to something.
The week after their scintillating performance at The Windmill Lane Sessions, the lads are already decamped to a base in Sligo to write and record their next EP which will be released in October.
Yeats' country is a good fit for Orchid Collective.
The history of the place fits with the sonic poetry Orchid Collective produce. (Give a listen to them yourself and tell me otherwise.)
Asked to describe their music and its inspirations, Shea Tohill says that it is a good question before adding nonetheless that is a question that seems to come up quite a lot.
“We don’t really see ourselves fitting into a genre, as our music comes from a lot of different influences,” he says.
“We like to take a lot of time over our songs, crafting the lyrics, developing the harmonies and creating sounds-capes to put them over.”
“Alternative Folk is what our press pack describes us as but we let the listener decide for themselves,” he says, adding that genres are largely irrelevant in this day in age.
“Our inspirations would range from old Californian folk artists like Crosby, Stills and Nash and Neil Young to modern day artists such as Villagers and James Vincent McMorrow. “
“We gel really well together in this band both personally and musically, we’re all best friends and writing music that we collectively all enjoy. “
“A lot of people seem to be enjoying our music as well, that’s our motivation.”
“Hopefully we can continue to grow as a band and get our music out to as many people as possible, spread the love!”
David O’Shea adds, perhaps apropos of spreading Orchid Collective’s love, “we’re actually really happy with Lay As Stone.”
“We’ve spent a lot of time writing these songs and performing them live.”
“Any lyrical concerns we had, have been ironed out over time,” he says, mysteriously. “Hopefully people will enjoy the songs and can connect with them, create their own stories from them.”
An indication of their youth and indeed their innocence — which is all part of the DNA of their music — David says that he supposes “the lowest point in my life is when me and Shea moved out of the house last summer — not seeing each other every day was just clearly unbearable!” Imagine.
You can also watch the Sessions on TG4. Orchid Collective play, among many other gig this summer, Castlepalooza in Offaly, plus The Galway International Arts Festival and KnockanStockan in Wicklow, in July.
Windmill Lane Sessions: Andrew Mann