Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 7/10
Writing on the wall is normally a phrase that signifies an abrupt ending, a sense of closure if a wrong, and sometimes inevitable, turn is made. The thought of all chances gone and it is just a matter of time before the clock heralds an unsatisfying conclusion to what could have been something magnificent.
For the threesome that makes up Folkstone’s Orfila, it’s not that the writing is on the wall, eulogies being prepared and a service of rememberance being arranged, the opposite is true, the writing is done with a flourish and heralds loudly that there is a band around who can offer a night in listening to music which is both gentle and sincere; the script is still being added to and it looks great so far.
For the three members, Abi on vocals, percussion and piano, Louise on vocals, piano, guitar and Matt on guitar, harmonica, banjo and ukulele, the music is something rather enjoyable. It holds a hope that many miss because they are far too tied up with living in the excessive moment and their thoughts waylaid by the result rather than the journey. For Orfila, the journey is all, something you would certainly expect from three people that play together securely and with ease.
The album they have released is sweet, it is polished and offers a gentle, if at times a little understated, sound that is more than enough to please the ear and place a wondering, enigmatic smile upon the face of the listener. Writing On The Wall holds a deep fascination for the poetry held within the lyrics and in tracks such as the utterly tremendous I’ve Just a face an which female longing and identification are explored, the lovely You Should Know, the craving and resolution in Better Things and Come Back, the three members of the band have created a selection of songs that fill the heart with a certain contentment that comes through in calming waves, like a pebble thrown from a high cliff into the English Channel, the result might not be initially seen or felt but it adds tremendously to the world.
Orfila’s Writing On The Wall is a generous and abundant album that is a surprising catch to get hold of.
Ian D. Hall