The Orielles’ Henry Carlyle-Wade dissects the best guitar parts on Disco Volador

Finding influence in bossa nova and ABBA, The Orielles’ Disco Volador is full of guitar-driven pop symphonies and avant-garde lyricism. Henry Carlyle-Wade tells us more.

The Orielles

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As one of the UK’s most colourful and vibrant guitar bands, The Orielles’ sophomore album sees them expanding their sonic palette, with commendable levels of courage and intent. Despite the critical acclaim of their debut LP, Silver Dollar Moment, guitarist Henry Carlyle-Wade received a few minor criticisms, which he’s used to help develop his burgeoning chops.

Drawing influence from bossa nova, and jazz greats such as Lenny Breau, he found renewed inspiration in seventh chords and pedal tones. Below, Carlyle-Wade dissects his favourite guitars parts on new album Disco Volador, taking in discontinued French rack delays and the genius of ABBA along the way.

Rapid i

“This is quite an interesting one because it starts off on F major seventh. I intended it to be F# minor with the A and the E as the shared pedal tones between the chords, just shifting a semitone on those chords, but when the keys player started practising it, I realised that what I’d written was just like what every post-punk band is playing at the moment. I’m really happy with the bridge part. I was like listening to ABBA once and I realised that it’s their bridges that make you want to dance and scream. I wanted to write a bridge that just rises and rises into a powerful chorus. I was also listening to loads of bossa nova music, so I got my nylon-string guitar and then put some bossa nova percussion over the top.”

Whilst The Flowers Look

“Bill Ryder-Jones left a 1970s Jazzmaster with us after a gig in Liverpool about two years ago and never asked for it back. I took it into the studio and used it on Whilst The Flowers Look, which I first came up with the chord pattern for way back in August 2018, when I was first trying to expand the chords I was playing past a normal major or minor. I was playing these two chords, which is an A major seventh with the F# on it – I have no idea what it’s called – but then using that F# as a pedal tone to go to B major seventh. Using pedal tones creates this really nice feeling of familiarity but with new chords.”

Memoirs Of Miso

“It all started again with major sevenths – they’re kind of a fascination of mine at the moment. It’s a happy chord but there’s a lot of underlying sadness. For me, feeling emotional from listening to music has always been the main driving force behind actually playing it. I was using a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV and switching between a Roland Jazz Chorus and a Baldwin. All of the guitar tracking I did was in stereo. I used a 1970s Mutron and a little bit of trem on the amp but my pedalboard is constantly changing throughout every song. I also used a Publison delay. Fuck, you have no idea! It’s stereo, so you can control the left and the right ear independently. You can get some absolutely mental sounds coming out the back out of it.”

A Material Mistake

“What I love about that track is that I got a Line 6 Echo Park to emulate what the Publison was doing. After the first album, we set out to write this song and wanted to create a dub sound, like really heavy bass, minimal drums and echoing guitars. I detuned my Strat to play a rough G minor seventh chord on all the strings and then did a couple of takes of beating the strings with a rubber beater. It sounds different to playing with a plectrum and you can create crescendos with how hard you hit. All the strings resonate, even the ones you don’t hit, and it made this wet and spacious harmony. On one of the takes I used a paintbrush. It was more for the colour than the actual sound you heard.”

Space Samba

“This track has a recurring pedal tone of A over the top of a lot of the chords, and that nicely ties moving from G major seventh to G minor seventh to A minor, and then back to G major seventh again. Because I had loads of criticisms after the first album, I was trying to make the songs we were writing more diverse from a chordal point of view. I found that having these notes that relay between such jazzy chords is the thing I can use to make it sound more easily digestible. There’s a million ways I could have played the chord pattern and some would have been way more restrictive for average listeners.”

Disco Volador is out now on Heavenly Recordings.

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