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Shelleyan Orphan We Have Everything We Need [album]

Shelleyan Orphan: We Have Everything We NeedIt has been a long sixteen years since
  Shelleyan Orphan released an album, so
  the band — which was formed in 1983 in
thought it was about
  time for a new album release. And here
it is: We Have Everything We Need...”

SHELLEYAN ORPHAN — the name was taken in homage to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley — was formed in 1983 when Caroline Crawley and Jem Tayle came together to share their love of all musical genres. Two years later the band was signed to Rough Trade.

The duo created an unusual blend of pop on their debut Helleborine, utilising a whole range of superb classic instruments — including some of the more obscure such as the Strumento da Porca and Tamboura.

Shelleyan Orphan's influences are very diverse — from Joy Division and Sparks through to Barry White and Delius. These influences ebb and flow through the ethereal and pulsating sounds of the duo's work — and We Have Everything We Need takes full advantage of Shelleyan Orphan's powerful presence, creating a tidal wave of sensational tracks as Caroline's voice sends shivers down your spine.

Above all, Shelleyan Orphan is a vocal band and this was evidenced by the 1989 Century Flower, a brilliant and critically-acclaimed album produced by Dave Allen (The Cure, Human League). Following its release, the band toured throughout Europe and America supporting The Cure and gaining a wider fan base.

1992 saw the third album, Humroot, and once again found Shelleyan Orphan exploiting a love of musical combinations. It found its way to the fan base and the band continued playing for a few years before taking a long break from the music industry — occasionally coming back together, although not as Shelleyan Orphan.

Welcome back, guys! We Have Everything We Need benefits from the sixteen year absence of Shelleyan Orphan: the album sounds fresh, with Caroline and Jem's natural ability shining through.

The album was recorded at Riverside Studios in Bath with Steve Evans (Siouxie, Robert Plant and the Proclaimers), while the strings and woodwinds were recorded in Budapest with the Hungarian National Radio Orchestra. The album blends a unique use of strings, woodwind and a further unusual mix of instruments such as a Hurdy Gurdy and Celeste, with the rhythms of Boris Williams (The Cure) and Charlie Jones (Goldfrapp, Robert Plant).

Caroline and Jem's voices melt together beautifully once more, but the sound is more calculated, mature and patient. Space is left for the singers to explore, reinvigorate and revisit past melodies, harmonies and fantasies. It's a jubilant listen, timeless as always, and fitting with the rest of Shelleyan Orphan's style.

We Have Everything We Need is full of delights, including Body Sighs — a very pretty, folkish retro sound of undulating notes. Judas is particularly creative with gentle, flowing participation to complement Caroline's calming, mesmerising singing.

The oddly-titled I'm Glad You Didn't Jump Out Of The Car That Day contains the words "Suicide bombers disturb me" — and so they should! Something Pulled Me is more up-tempo and quirky, with alluring hip-swivelling beats. Evolute gives Jem Tayle a chance to air his vocals while Caroline harmonises beautifully.

We enjoyed Caroline exercising her vocal talents with Host and her melancholy patters through I May Never. For a more full-on track with a rock/folk/pop essence try Bosom — it compels the listener and could lure even the most reluctant feet to the dance. And Everything We Need is an absolute winner. In all, We Have Everything We Need is a cute and delightful musical excursion with an electronica injection expressed through traditional instrumentals.

Shelleyan Orphan's wonderful new album We Have Everything We Need will be released on One Little Indian on 13 October (2008). A five CD/DVD box set is due out in the winter featuring all four albums, a bonus disc of unreleased music and a DVD. Tour dates are to be confirmed.


1 Body Sighs | 2 How A Seed Is Sown | 3 Judas | 4 Something Pulled Me | 5 Evolute |
6 Host | 7 Yours Shoes | 8 I'm Glad You Didn't Jump Out Of The Car That Day | 9 I May Never | 10 Beamheart | 11 Bosom | 12 Everything We Need

"We Have Everything We Need takes full advantage of Shelleyan Orphan's powerful presence, creating a tidal wave of sensational tracks as Caroline's ethereal voice sends shivers down your spine" — MotorBar