ALBUM REVIEW: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Brings 80s Funk in When the Lights Go

British singer-songwriter Orlando Higgenbottom, also known as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, released his first album in a decade, When the Lights Go, on September 9, 2022, under his own label Nice Age. The DJ has spent the last 10 years working with EDM superstars like Elderbrook, BANKS, and Bonobo, the collaboration with the latter gaining him a 2021 Grammy Nomination. But Higgenbottom’s new album is the story he wants to tell; a 17-track collection of lo-fi beats, full of funk and strictly good vibes.


When the Lights Go opens with “Crosswalk”, an 80s groove-esque song that immediately sets the album apart from mainstream EDM to something more dreamy. The following song, “Persuasion”, plays deeper into the lo-fi narrative, focusing on reflective tones and translucent sounds. However, it’s not only the chill nature of the album that makes it different, Higgenbottom still delivers messages of love, longing, and anxiety through lyrics that don’t cloud the beats they’re sung on, but amplify them instead. In “Blood In Snow”, he sings, “How much longer? Before the dam begins to break/ Crashing water/ Fill my lungs and levitate.”

In the album’s sixth track, “The Sleeper”, Higgenbottom explains his insecurities in a relationship and in the future, all while maintaining a chill feel with his synth-ed out piano, and robotic undertones. “I don’t know how you still love me/ When I bring you nothing but trouble/ Don’t wake me up if I’m dreaming/ ‘Cause I’m dreaming you’ll be here tomorrow.”

Songs like “Forever”, “Be With You”, and “Treason” are the cross-section of lo-fi and EDM, bringing in elements of hip-hop and chillwave. “When the Lights Go”, the album’s ninth track, centers around trying to put in-depth emotions in words, only to realize it’s better to just feel instead. “Away we go/ The warmest night that we’ll ever know/ And I still care/ Enough of me/ Knows I’m all that I’ll ever be/ I’m kissing air.”

The eleventh song, “Friend”, showcases Higgenbottom’s take on 80s pop-EDM, a song about romanticizing life. The drum beat is heavy, distinct, and the overall beat of the track is great for jamming out to, especially with the artist’s muffled voice singing sweet lyrics like, “Take my heart/ I’m pleading with you/ Make me whole/ I need it from you.” “Basement” and “Silence”, the tenth and fifteenth song on the album, are instrumental pieces of synth, transporting listeners to a supernatural world filled with unique, misty sounds.


The album closes with “Thugs”, a track covering what it means to live in a patriarchal society with a lasting techno beat to end the album. While When the Lights Go is a chill EDM album built for reflective listening, it doesn’t shy away from merging together profound topics often seen in pop with classic EDM notes.


Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is going on tour in Europe and North America to play his new album.


Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs 2022 EUROPE TOUR


10/15  – Manchester, UK – New Century

10/18 – London, UK – Heaven

10/20 – Paris, France  – La Maroquinerie

10/21 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – ADE @ Melkweg

10/22 – Berlin, Germany – Säälchen


Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs 2022 NORTH AMERICA TOUR


11/2 – Los Angeles, CA  – Lodge Room

11/3 – Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room

11/4 – Las Vegas, NV – AREA15

11/6 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent

11/9 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall

11/10 – Toronto, Canada – Velvet Underground

11/11 – Montreal, QC – Society for Arts and Technology

11/13 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg