Premiere: The Orielles’ “Sugar Tastes Like Salt”

A late-night talk show-satirizing music video set to eight minutes of dizzying, dynamic rock

Less than a month ago, Halifax, UK trio The Orielles released an epic, dizzying eight minutes of twisting rock music known as “Sugar Tastes Like Salt.” It was the band’s first single since signing with Heavenly Recordings, and to call the song ambitious is an understatement. It’s a joyride invoking various decades worth of rock genres that delivers refreshing force. When vocals strike one minute in, the guitar, bass and drums have already captured listeners wholeheartedly. Today, The Orielles—composed of sisters Sidonie B and Esmé Dee Hand-Halford and their friend Henry Carlyle Wade—have dropped a music video for the song that’s more or less a short film satirizing late-night TV. Only it devolves into several nightmarish and outlandish scenarios—and ultimately, a tour de force surrealist staging of the song.

To release an eight-minute song as a debut is a rather bold statement (though one we’ve seen with greater frequency lately). As Esme Dee Hand-Halford shares with us, “I think we just decided on ‘Sugar’ as the debut because it’s a project that we’ve been working on for quite a while and this seemed like the appropriate time to put it out.” She continues that it’s a worthy track to grab people’s attention. “I guess it really says that listeners can expect the unexpected, you know, as cheesy as that sounds. But in reality, we want to show people that we’re doing something different to a lot of bands at the moment, and you can’t expect something ‘safe’ from us, because we’re a bit of a mixed bag.” As the track and its video extend outward, ever-shifting and pulsing, one can’t help but appreciate the momentum.

“We came up with this idea, that all of our visuals should kind of exist within the same universe,” Esme explains, “Therefore certain segments of the video give away hints about other Orielles stuff, kind of like a subliminal interaction between us and the viewers through the medium of the video. Making the full story came fairly easy once we had all agreed on the general concept.” Cinematic influences then took hold. “We aimed to mix the weirdness of David Lynch with the outrageous and aesthetic elements of violence and gore within Tarantino’s films—as well as making a bit of a commentary on society through the absurdist nature of some sections, in the style of Roy Andersson,” she says. There are plenty of costume changes and scenes within scenes, hedonism meets a staunch social critique, and all the while, the track eviscerates listeners with jagged instrumentalism and dark dance beats.

Band photo courtesy of Neelam Khan Vela, video and stills courtesy of The Orielles