Ela Orleans - Tumult In Clouds (5 stars)

This article is from 2014

Ela Orleans - Tumult In Clouds

A sublime, disorientating LP which navigates chanson-pop grooves, eldritch psych-rock and vintage electro

(Parental Guidance)

This sublime, disorientating LP is a rarity in every sense. It is uncommon, in this day and age, to make a double vinyl album, for starters – although it feels futile to measure this abstract opus against such a humdrum framework as time. For said pressing to sell-out – as did the initial 2012 run of Tumult in Clouds (via Glasgow’s excellent Clan Destine label) – is similarly unusual. Now this welcome re-press, on Orleans' own Parental Guidance imprint, looks set to follow suit. Look sharp. And listen close.

Ela Orleans is an exceptional artist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. The Poland-raised, Glasgow-based haunt-pop diviner (and former member of local rock troupe Hassle Hound) assimilates literature, theatre, fine art and technology into her untethered music, which navigates chanson-pop grooves, eldritch psych-rock and vintage electro.

What's perhaps most striking about Tumult in Clouds is that, despite its variegated sonic vistas, it is an entrancing, cohesive body of work – from the ominous, minimalist electronica of 'Dark Wood', through an Aleister Crowley-citing dread-pop psalm ('A Jealous Lover'), to the scuzz-riff toting, Lord Byron-quoting garage reverie that is 'Your Fame' (a track which perhaps echoes Orleans' sonic underground tenure in New York). Evocative, haunting titles eddy like recurring dreams and half-memories ('Nocturne', 'Longing', 'Light At Dawn', 'In The Night') and so too do motley literary references.

You might align Orleans' unearthly charms with Grouper, Broadcast or Julia Holter, and her unsettling aesthetic resonates with the Outer Church, Trunk, Scarfolk and Ghost Box, but Orleans is quite unlike any other. Compare her neu-romantic voyages on Tumult In Clouds with her acid/techno union as Bläck/Tract, for example; or contrast this album's reedy discord ('Where Are You') with its uber-chic vintage pop swansong, 'In The Night'. The latter rivals Stereolab and Portishead in terms of classy ambience, and provides a fitting ending to this beautiful compendium of billowing gloom and silver linings.

Ela Orleans plays as part of Counterflows festival, Garnethill Mutli-Cultural Centre, Fri 4 Apr.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).


A festival of underground, experimental and international music, Counterflows marries the local to the international with artists from around the world collaborating with homegrown talent across Glasgow.

Various venues: Glasgow

Thu 31 Mar

Times vary / 07939 607934

Fri 1 Apr

Times vary / 07939 607934

Sat 2 Apr

Times vary / 07939 607934

Sun 3 Apr

Times vary / 07939 607934

Ela Orleans

The Polish born singer-songwriter performs experimental pop with psychedelic elements, often with accompanying projections of her own home made films.

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