Orlando Weeks – LOJA

A songwriter refreshed by a new chapter...

Subtle changes can bring huge shifts in our lives – so taking the leap can be transformative. Swapping London – a city he grew up in, and knows intimately – for Lisbon, Orlando Weeks found himself rejuvenated by fresh surroundings. New solo album ‘LOJA’ is born from this process, a refreshing, entertaining, and ever-emotive cycle of personal development that takes his work into new spaces.

Refulgent opener ‘Longing’ eases you into his world – indeed, it’s tempting to assume the light, and uplifting nature of the song is born from his Lisbon environs. There’s a live band feeling to the record, one that reflects the brevity of the recording. Completed in one day shy of a fortnight, it allows for the joyous performance on ‘Best Night’ and the introspection of ‘Sorry’.

Indeed, ‘LOJA’ is a record of subtle highs, and calming lows. ‘My Love Is (Daylight Saving)’ has a painterly feel – Orlando has also created a series of drawing and paintings to exhibit alongside the album – while the synth-dappled ‘Please Hold’ is a neat search for connection, the clinical electronics given a warming appeal in the final mix.

Album highlight (and 6Music ear-worm) ‘Dig’ is almost post-punk in its angular structure, all sharp corners and tightly coiled energy. Bonus vocals from Wet Leg’s Rhian Teasdale pivot the song in new directions, adding differing shades and hues to Orlando’s choir boy delivery.

Closing with the hopeful ‘Tomorrow’ and the softly endearing ‘Beautiful Place’, this is a refined, well-rounded project. Aided by his live band and close collaborators, Orlando Weeks succeeds in grappling with new chapters in his personal life, adding a freshness to his indie pop template in the process.

8/10

Words: Robin Murray

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