|Oliver Wilde — A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears (2013)|
Oliver Wilde — A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears
°°≥ Bristol one-man-band squares circle between shoegaze, laptop pop and folk.
°°≥ The debut album by Bristol based Oliver Wilde is a perfect fit for the hot flushes of a summer heatwave. His woozy kaleidoscopic pop songs seem to evaporate in hot air, fading into a sea of floating light speck as they routinely blossom and wilt back and forth in an atmosphere of dizzying heat.
Location: Bristol, England, UK
Album release: July 22, 2013
Record Label: Howling Owl Records
01 Curve (Good Grief) 5:54
02 Perrett's Brook 5:57
03 Flutter 5:32
04 Something Old 5:11
05 Marleah's Cadence 4:00
06 Pinch 4:28
07 Rift 5:00
08 Walter Stevens' Only Daughter 4:35
09 Happy Downer 5:05
10 Twin 4:47
℗ 2013 Howling Owl Records Members:
• Oliver Wilde
• Hugo Bishop
• Caelia Lunniss
• Connor Jones
• Andrew Hutchin
2nd pressing — first 100 on white vinyl — black standard after that
°°≥ Here's some nice words about Oliver Wilde:
°°≥ "Woozy to the core, but with an innate ear for a sweetly melodic pop hook..Oliver Wilde comes on like Christopher Owens fronting Atlas Sound.." — NME
°°≥ "Oliver Wilde is the man. Seriously. He's slowly edged his way through the noise that surrounds Bristol to stand above everything and everyone. With just an acoustic guitar, some soft looped samples and a meticulous songpwriting craft, he's made one of the best debut albums I've heard in a long long time. Yeah, that good..world-wide good. Imagine Deerhunter teaming up with mark Linkous in a bid to try and break your heart rather than your face. Beguiling, beautiful, compelling...." — GoldFlakePaint via Fake DIY
The lineup: Oliver Wilde (vocals, instruments).
The background: We've written about a couple of Howling Owl artists, including Spectres and Towns, but Oliver Wilde is our favourite yet. And his debut album A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears is one of the best we've heard so far this year, hovering somewhere near our Heavenly 7 where the likes of Daft Punk, Disclosure, Toro Y Moi, Savages, Tyler, the Creator, Jensen Sportag and Jessy Lanza currently sit, looking down on Kanye West, going, "Nyer-nyer, we made better albums than you!"
°°≥ Not that Wilde, who moonlights as an assistant in a record store in Bristol, would be so loud or bold or rude. He must be a nightmare to deal with in the environs of his day job, if his singing voice is any measure. He sings in a woozy, breathy murmur. Don't get us wrong — we love it. We just can't imagine being able to hear it in the shop.
°°≥ Everything about him and his music is woozy, and hazy, with a side order of crackle and fuzz. It's folk as performed by Kevin Shields with an arsenal of lo-fi gadgetry, or whatever the laptop bedroom producer equivalent of "arsenal" is. Possibly laptop. Think Nick Drake fed by MBV's sonic kiss. First track Curve (Good Grief) is a slow, locked groove featuring Wilde's dippy dream of a voice, like an indie boy poisoned by too much sugar. On Perrett's Brook he sounds intoxicated and the unexpected chord changes have the same effect on the listener. When the bass and drums come in halfway, all heaven breaks loose. It's like hearing a classic Creation Records single from the '90s at 18rpm, shoegaze reduced to exquisite sloth. Flutter is eponymous, the sound of butterflies in the stomach. Something Old is typical of what's on offer here: it's humid, sticky, like something left out in the sun, hot to the touch and warped out of shape. Just call it the low intense humming of beauty. Or if you want it straight, it's acoustic electronica, with a lo-fi lushness and a lustrous chord progression. You get the impression Wilde knows hundreds of the buggers (he's already got enough songs for album two, so not that much like Shields at all, really). °°≥ "You can know too much": we typed that previous sentence just as he sang that line. Creepy, but in a good way, in the way that A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears creeps up on you and engulfs you with its heady sweetness.
The buzz: "I've had [the album] for months and I can tell you now that it is astonishing."
The truth: Ever wondered what My Bloody Valentine would sound like if they were a solo folkie? Wonder no more.
Most likely to: Make you realise.
Least likely to: Record a follow-up in 22 years.
What to buy: A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears is released by Howling Owl on July 22.
File next to: Deerhunter, Kevin Shields, Atlas Sound, Elliott Smith.
Friday's new band: Katie Got Bandz.
by SAMMY MAINE, July 19th, 2013, Score: 9
°°≥ Bristol-based independent label Howling Owl Records have been churning out some incredible releases over the past year. From the Spectres to The Naturals, the label is widely regarded as putting Bristol firmly back on the musical map. Their latest release comes from Oliver Wilde — once a shy, acoustic singer/songwriter, he’s transformed himself into an electronic downer-pop forerunner that sees his debut album as one of the most anticipated to emerge from the city in recent years.
°°≥ By day, he works at RISE Records — a hub of the Bristol music scene, where you’ll see him welcoming customers with a huge grin and quietly passing on Elliott Smith B-sides. A Brief Introduction to Unnautral Lightyears has been a long time coming and after a series of appearances at festivals such as Fear of Fiction and Dot to Dot, it’s safe to say that the excitement for this album can be well and truly felt throughout the city.
°°≥ Opener ‘Curve’ transports us to a hazy daydream, full of repetitive electronic drums and soundscapes before Wilde tackles your demons with distorted lyrics such as “You can’t admit your happy, maybe you shouldn’t be” before shaking your senses, wailing “But you wouldn’t know“. Finishing with the same looping electronic soundscapes and drum machine kicks as the beginning, ‘Curve’ gently rips apart your heart before piecing it back together in a style Elliott Smith would be proud of. Unbeknownst to you, Wilde has managed to gain access to the kind of feelings you like to keep hidden; even from yourself.
°°≥ Where ‘Curve’ leaves you silently mystified, single ‘Perretts Brook’ wakes you with an abrupt electronic thrash that could easily make it the indie-sleeper hit of the summer. Building up to a surge of obscure of wandering bass, synth-heavy reverbs and teamed with gut-wrenching vocals, the fragile female harmonies during the chorus make it all the more enticing. This is the kind of bedroom production you wanted after first hearing the title track from Sparklehorse’s It’s A Wonderful Life. The album continues in a mirage of delicate acoustic picks, reverb-fuelled drums and clever song structures, with Wilde using his unique vocals as the conductor to an album full of wandering ideas — piecing them all together to make a perfect match.
°°≥ Where the first few songs evoke a somewhat blissful melancholy response, ‘Marleahs Cadence’ awakens every sense with its thrashing guitars, uplifting opening and an almost sing-a-long chorus; this is the ‘pop hit’ of the album, if you will. Eyes closed, the song takes you to a hopeful place that leaves behind the regret Wilde has conjured up through the previous tracks.
°°≥ ‘Pinch’ showcases Wilde’s undeniable maturity as a songwriter. Stripped back, with only a few quiet guitars to keep his vocals company, the song proves that not much is needed when these kind of lyrics are involved. A woozy sigh of “Imagine clouds to walk upon, while you look for that special someone. Be clear on what it is you want” effortlessly produces gorgeous imagery, with its execution allowing Wilde to leave behind any sort of song writing clichés. It could be likened to early Atlas Sound or even a more stripped-back, male Warpaint.
°°≥ The album continues to produce gem after gem, as each song flows perfectly onto the next. Full of repetitive, distorted instrumentation you’d think that they would all start to sound the same but Wilde has managed to craft an album of unique integrity. ‘Happy Downer’ opens with grating, industrial sounds that are soon smoothed out by the warmth of Wilde’s vocals before album finisher ‘Twin’ moulds all of the albums influences into one perfect offering.
°°≥ As striking as it is beautiful, on A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Light Years Oliver Wilde has crafted something truly unique. Where one song will carry you to a car, with your hand catching the wind as you drive along, another will question those emotions that were buried deep in the back of your mind long ago. So rich in it’s output yet so sparing of frills and over-production, Wilde has managed to produce an album that will stand out from any genre whilst still maintaining a clear structure. Original and affecting, it’s the lyrical honesty and experimentation with an array of hypnotic soundscapes that not only make this one of the most exciting debuts to come out of Bristol in a while, but one that deserves the attention of anyone that likes the sound of swooping, indie downer-pop with a melancholic euphoria. (http://drownedinsound.com/) Press : Chris Fraser @ Brace Yourself PR / firstname.lastname@example.org. Radio : Ivanop Maggiulli @ Brace Yourself PR email@example.com
Agent: Rob @ Electric Harmony / firstname.lastname@example.org
Gen director: Stephen Barnes @ Upshot Management / email@example.com
Website: http://www.oliver-wilde.com/ / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oliver-Wilde/304445432985648
BY CHRIS TAPLEY, 18 JULY 2013, Score: 8/10
Reviewer: Tom Johnson, Score: 9
By JJ Dunning, 12 Jul 2013, Score: 8
°°≥ http://mamacolive.com/thefly/reviews/album/1019855/oliver-wilde-a-brief-introduction-to-unnatural-lightyears/ © Live at Scala, London, UK.
|Oliver Wilde — A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears (2013)|