Featuring recent single ‘Beats Like Distant Tides’ and the forthcoming 2nd cut, ‘From the Provinces’, Cleethorpes’ Orphan Boy announce the release of their triumphant third album Coastal Tones for May 25th via Concrete Recordings.
Offering an unflinching view of life on the fringes, frontman Rob Cross’ lyrical inspirations range from the bleak view of a Grimsby tower block to furious ruminations on the neglected realms of Scunthorpe, Doncaster and many other often overlooked Northern pastures. “I’ve always liked the idea of seeing the beauty in the mundane,” says Rob, who cites Jarvis Cocker, Irvine Welsh and Charles Bukowski as lyrical touchstones.
“People don’t give small towns credit, but places like Morecombe and Kirkcaldy have a real sense of community spirit. Singing about Grimsby and Cleethorpes is all part of that. It’s an undocumented part of the country which is as valid as anywhere else.”
Listen close to Coastal Tones and you’ll discover a world where “chemical plants hang like ghosts”, lonely spinsters find their “spirit wanes in the twilight hours” and dole-drum reality builds a simmering resentment where entire days are spent: “watching Zulu and just burning matches by the window”. Lyrically, it’s the sort of record Alex Turner might have written if he hadn’t left his heart in San Francisco, but musically, it’s equally impressive. The title track suggests Roxy Music, ‘Young Americans’ Bowie, and Death In Vegas jamming an elegy beside the Humber estuary.
Since Orphan boy’s inception in 2008 their ethos and sound has been rooted at street-level. Accurately dubbing themselves as ‘council pop’, the band grafted hard playing hundreds of gigs a year with nothing but a battered Ford Fiesta as a tour bus, until the quartet met a premature demise in 2011.
The result of bad luck, plain regional bias, and the impending question of “when was the last time you saw an A&R man in Cleethorpes?” suggested the band had been dealt a particularly cruel hand, but It’s one which makes their third album Coastal Tones all the more remarkable. A beautifully crafted portrait of Britain in austerity-torn 2015, it comes with the melodic clout and renewed focus of a band starting over.
Coastal Tones was self-produced by band member Sam Orphan and was recorded and mixed at their hometown studios in a warehouse on Grimsby Docks. The album is due May 25th via Concrete Recordings.
Having previously played alongside the likes of Babyshambles and The Sunshine Underground and appeared at Glastonbury, the Secret Garden Party and Truck festivals, Orphan boy have announced a string of live dates across the UK below.
30th Scunthorpe, Café INDIEpendent
18th Hitchin, Club 85
20th Stoke, The Brown Jug
31st Derby, DE1 Festival
12th Manchester, Sound Control
Coastal Tones track listing:
1. Beats Like Distant Tides
2. Sunken Hearts
3. Trans Pennine
4. On A Nelson Skyline
5. From The Provinces
6. Money To Money
8. Bury Your Stars
9. Coastal Tones
10. Thirty Something Lovesick Ballad
Orphan Boy are: Rob Cross (guitar / vocals), Paul Smith (bass), Chris Day (drums) & Sam Carlton (keyboards).