Welcome to Orville’s Discotheque: a synth-drenched concept album brought to you by indie singer-songwriter, Jeremy Tuplin, out 19th May on Trapped Animal Records. Set in a world slightly left of reality, the record tells the story of a flawed disco-enthused antihero and his romantic travails.
Possibly taking place in the 70s, the 80s, present day or maybe somewhere far into the future. Sad disco, dark disco, devilish disco, whatever he chooses to call it, Orville’s Discotheque is a quirky underworld, or dancefloor, for you to “step on in and slide through.” In following the story of Orville and his love interest Eugenie, and by moving in and out of the world that’s created as the journey unfolds it leaves the listener not only questioning the accuracy of the protagonist’s narration, but also whether any or all of it merely takes place within Orville’s imagination, or if it is indeed a ‘Real World’ so to speak. All of this is accentuated by the slightly ethereal nature of Eugenie’s character and presence, as well as that the occasional intentionally lo-fi home recording is weaved into an otherwise studio-recorded album.
“Behind all the bravado and bombast there’s a strong sense of fragility to this character, Orville, and it turned out that having some home recordings at the beginning and towards the end helped stay true to Orville’s personality – a flawed, lonely synth player making music in his bedroom – whilst also helping suggest an interpretation that this record or at least aspects of the narrative, are merely figments of his overactive imagination.” Says Tuplin. “And I guess having been created by myself there’s that additional meta layer of art imitating life.”
The record, like Tuplin’s earlier albums, was made at Marketstall Recording Studio with long-time collaborator Mark Estall as co-producer, and instrumentation contributed by members of Tuplin’s newly named backing band, The Sad And Lonely Disco Band: Jason Ribeiro on drums, Samuel Nicholson on lead guitar, and Estall on bass, and heka (Francesca Brierley) on vocals performing the role of Eugenie. Tuplin contributing to lead vocals, synthesisers and rhythm guitar.
An Orphic tale, Orville’s Discotheque and its multitude of characters – Orville (loosely Orpheus), Eugenie (loosely Eurydice), Hermes, Hades and Persephone – takes inspiration from Greek mythology but is very much a story unto itself. With lyrical musings on romantic love, narcissism, delusion, obsession – including self-obsession, reality, society, dancing and activities of the night, Orville’s Discotheque may provide escapism through the fantasy disco world it inhabits, but on a human level it all feels real and relatable enough. After all, the opening line ‘the moon shines like a mirror ball’ sets the scene and suggests that on one level it is all just a metaphor for the protagonist’s journey through life.
Jeremy Tuplin is an indie singer-songwriter from Somerset. Lyrical and genre-bending, his music blends alt-folk, indie rock and synth pop with the occasional psychedelic soundscape thrown in for taste. This is his fourth album, following his independently released debut I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut (2017), Pink Mirror (2019), and Violet Waves (2020) both on Trapped Animal Records.