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album review: a brief introduction to unnatural light years, oliver wilde


The first sounds we hear on Oliver Wilde’s A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Light Years are pulsating vibrations, closely followed by delicate instrumentals, after which Oliver’s voice fills the spaces these sounds are creating. The lyrics are languid and the track, called ‘Curve (Good Grief)’ is a pretty good indicator of what’s to come. Previously featured on our new music roundup, next track ‘Perrett’s Brook’ has a whirring, 90s layer, mingled with a steady guitar strum and that melodic voice. The contrasts found in the track are what keep it interesting and it’s clear that the clashing of elements is Oliver Wilde’s strength.

‘Flutter’ is a perfectly crafted gem, merging indie and folk expertly, with heartfelt lyrics and a subtle melody. While ‘Something Old’ dabbles in a more up-tempo melody, it is ‘Marleah’s Cadence’ that really departs from the slow burn of the last few tracks. The crunchy, buzzing guitar and drum combo invites lazy summer dancing, beer in hand, while the lyrics invite the sort of singing/yelling along that usually accompanies said dancing. ‘Pinch’ is hushed, and opens with the haunting lyric ‘with poison in your mouth, you talk too loud’. The instrumentals, practiced as they are, take a back seat to Oliver’s voice, which sounds poignant and full of feeling.

‘Rift’ sounds like driving along a long, bare stretch of road, yearning evident in the melody and the lyrics and ‘Walter Stevens’ Only Daughter’ follows suit. ‘Happy Downer’ matches the rest of the album by merging industrial beeps and scrapes with rolling guitar and heartfelt lyrics sung with feeling. The album closes with ‘Twin’, and the fuzzy, low-fi sound that greets us is matched to Oliver’s understated vocal performance.

Originally solely an acoustic singer, Oliver Wilde has clearly found his calling in matching his original passion with interesting, layered electronic sounds and the result is something unique and endlessly appealing. Electronic music’s reach has grown considerably over the years, so Oliver’s genre-melding sound has arrived not a moment too soon.

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