Orlando Weeks - 'Hop Up'

7/10

Since the end of his formative outfit The Maccabees, frontman Orlando Weeks has spent the last few years trying to define himself as a solo artist. In the summer of 2018, he became a parent for the first time, and this led to the focus and inspiration behind his debut solo effort 'A Quickening' in 2020. But with the world in the midst of a seismic change, both socially and politically, he has found himself in a more reflective light as he looks to explore the bigger picture of who he is now on his sophomore studio album 'Hop Up', a record that is more about shedding his former self in pursuit of something more accepting.

Pursuing a more abstract and inventive direction to his alt-pop endeavours this time around, 'Hop Up' feels like a far more unique addition to his repertoire to date, both as a solo act and with The Maccabees. Sitting somewhere between the adventurous style of David Byrne and the distinctly sweet sound of Jens Lekman, this new collection has a fresh and vibrant feel to it. Wrapped up in a light yet pronounced production throughout, Weeks' instantly recognisable vocals feel so much at home on these breezier offerings, and show he is very much one to try and explore new ideas as often as possible.

While it may not be in the same lane as his previous work, 'Hop Up' is a remarkably progressive and enjoyable listen throughout. There is this strong desire to create something that will truly stand out at every turn, lending itself to more surprises and captivating behaviour than we originally thought.

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