Four piece band Exploded View recently announced their debut self-titled album, which will release August 19. Lead singer Anika is a German/Bristol former political journalist turned musician. As such, the bands music is tinged with subtle political commentary. This summer, the band is expected to tour various venues in Europe in order to promote the album. Recently, the band has released the video for their single “Orlando”. The fact that mentioning Orlando currently brings up painful memories of the terrorist attack on the LGBT community is not lost on Anika, who explains,
“The song “Orlando” was written at the end of 2014, and its video was completed shortly before the terrible events in Orlando, FL, in the early hours of June 12th, when the most deadly mass shooting in the United States shook the country, the world and the queer community to its core, as the targets were clearly chosen, simply for being who they were, conducted in a space that has traditionally been one of protection, a safe haven for the queer community for decades: the dance floor.
Quoting from Virginia Woolf’s iconic novel Orlando: a Biography (1928), “Life, it sings, or croons rather, like a kettle on a hob, Life, life what art thou?”, as the main character has become a symbol to all those who believe they can free themselves from the restrictions imposed on our bodies, on our freedoms, to or from; the song is a celebration of life’s simple pleasures; of union in our differences. In the wake of our pain, when some have downplayed the chosen identity of the victims, while others may have concentrated solely on that, it is important to remember that this affects all of us. Whatever happens, dance floors should continue to be a space for freedom of expression, for life’s simple pleasures and a safe haven for so many communities around the world.”
The video for “Orlando” can be viewed below:
The contrast between the Anika’s eerie vocal performance and the seemingly innocent line-dancing scenario seen in the video gives off an unsettling vibe, as if the viewer is not completely aware of everything that’s going on. The band prides itself on its roots in improvisation, but “Orlando” is interesting in that the song sounds much more streamlined and structured than the band’s previous release, “No More Parties”.
This departure from improv further lends to the eerie vibe of the track, as dedicated listeners know this isn’t the typical Exploded View sound. Still, just because the sounds are structured does not necessarily make them more inviting. The background synths create a cold, desolate backdrop for the track, which contrasts with the slapping, upbeat bass. Shining guitar riffs occasionally pierce through the shuffle, ensuring that listeners constantly feel the tension.>
You can listen to more Exploded View when their self-titled album releases August 29th.