ORMELLA @ The Waiting Room

ORMELLA, adorned in a pastel pink ruffled dress and roses, mesmerized the audience at The Waiting Room with her enchanting voice; reminiscent of Florence Welch and Hannah Reid. Her set, filled with soul-stirring songs offered a poignant yet whimsical journey through heartbreak and healing, leaving the audience entranced and eagerly singing along.

‘STICK THE KNIFE IN’ EP OUT NOW

In a pastel pink ruffled dress, ORMELLA floated onto the stage of The Waiting Room; a venue tucked under the stairs of The Three Crowns pub in Stoke Newington. Adorned with pinkish roses, entering the venue felt like stepping into a secret garden; ORMELLA taking on the role as a mystical fairy creature ready to invite you into her enchanting mind.

The band, comprised of keys, electric guitar, drums and sax launched into the first song ‘We should never have sex again’ – a forthright way of letting us know that behind the gentleness and the ruffles is a story of heartbreak and loss. The soundscape created by the band in this opening track was nothing short of gorgeous. The gentle yet upfront tones of each instrument complemented one another and, most importantly, complemented ORMELLA’s enchanting voice. Though perfectly unique, ORMELLA’s voice has qualities reminiscent of Florence Welch (Florence & The Machine), Hannah Reid (London Grammar) and Imogen Heap. Her voice is full of soul, stretching from the depths of her low range to the heights of her head voice. Her stage presence nods to Caroline Polacheck; as she sings, she leaves her arms outstretched, then lets her wrists swirl and dance in the air back down to her sides.

ORMELLA and her band introduce the next song entitled ‘Why do I need you man?’ The audience appreciates ORMELLA’s humour and matter-of-factness which is apparent in her choice of song titles. This song is equally as compelling and enchanting as the first, with a similar rich and elegant soundscape leading us deeper into ORMELLA’s world. Engrossed in her work, each audience member loses themselves in her…suddenly we are drawn out of our trance as ORMELLA asks us to stomp our feet and clap our hands with her. We all begin a fierce stomp-clap-stomp-clap to a steady 4/4 beat and ORMELLA begins to wail a folk ballad. The song washes over us and we are transported to a time long ago before ORMELLA’s cutting lyrics let us know we are not in a fantastical ‘olde’ land, but are in the real world, a world in which ORMELLA has struggled with “drinking and getting high” on her own to cope with heartbreak. The candidness with which she tells strangers her story should be shocking, yet the floral landscape she has created to envelope us in allows her truth to be comforting.

Keys player, Su Kim, is featured in the next track ‘Woman, is this it?’ This piano-voice ballad feels somehow like a song I already know. With its London Grammar-esque chord progression, to ORMELLA’s confident vocal, akin to Florence Welch, this song feels nostalgic, perfectly sitting in soundworld of the early 2010s, without feeling outdated. This performance left a sense of wistfulness in the air; ORMELLA’s self-deprecating, playful quips were welcome relief. It was almost shocking to see how – frankly – silly ORMELLA can be when her music is drenched in serious sorrow. The audience particularly enjoyed her witty remark about the subject of her EP:

“All my songs are about my ex. He’s a really nice guy…”

‘Choke’ was the next song on the set list. One of her most soothing works with some of her most shocking imagery: ORMELLA effortlessly serenades us in a low tessitura “It’s not your neck to choke”. The live band really found their groove in this track, sounding incredibly tight, allowing the audience to sick into the slow, pulsing groove – many-a-head were nodding along to this one! ORMELLA then took us further along the narrative of her time dealing with heartbreak and gave us a glimpse at her hopeful moments in the turmoil, singing about her contemplations on falling in love again in an unreleased track titled ‘Jackson’.

ORMELLA closed her set with two released tracks ‘Never’s a Promise’ and ‘Stick The Knife In’, the title of her brand new EP out now. These slightly faster – yet not lacking in soul and passion – songs were clearly crowd favourites. It is clear ORMELLA already has superfans, something that most artists can only dream of having. Her fans proudly sang along to ORMELLA’s lyrics, including the karma-fuelled “so just in case if I forget to damn you to hell/The devil’s gonna love you”.

Alongside her incredible support act Ella Tobin (who was equally as talented, engaging and ethereal), ORMELLA did not just perform their music, they created an immersive experience filled with beauteous lyricism, charming soundscapes and alluring, mystical visuals. Stream Ella Tobin’s EP ‘Favourite Place to Hide’ and ORMELLA’s EP ‘Stick The Knife In’ out now everywhere.

Picture of Felicity Henry

Felicity Henry

Felicity Henry is a singer-songwriter/producer/writer based in London. She has a wealth of knowledge in a variety of genres, having grown up in the classical music sphere playing clarinet and saxophone, to managing her own all-female indie-rock band. She is passionate about supporting independent artists, especially those who face further barriers breaking into the industry. Follow them on Instagram.
Picture of Felicity Henry

Felicity Henry

Felicity Henry is a singer-songwriter/producer/writer based in London. She has a wealth of knowledge in a variety of genres, having grown up in the classical music sphere playing clarinet and saxophone, to managing her own all-female indie-rock band. She is passionate about supporting independent artists, especially those who face further barriers breaking into the industry. Follow them on Instagram.

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