OSCAR and MARTIN
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

 
Curtain, by Celia Perrin_Sidarous


Oscar & Martin - "Chaine Maile". A song like a cache of tiny gems, rubies and silvers, each one slightly different. Australia's Oscar & Martin make pop-songs in a thousand overlapping watercolours; they draw from collage, r&b, twee pop, UK blubstep. There's something powerful in the way they tie these genres together, knotting them at the seams. On their best songs, like this one, Oscar & Martin rival the recent work of James Blake or Dirty Projectors. They make something spacious, surprising, sugared. It's a sound that's deeply now: breath, drum-pulse, chopped and blurring vocals, synthed steel drums. But without any of the Projectors' formal OCD, without blubstep's tether to hauntology. These are living voices, not ghosts'; this is tenderness, not lust; the duo offers solace, not loneliness. And yet it doesn't collapse in a pile of floppy soppy overdelicacy: you can hear the metal in their declarations, the chainmail's clink, and even the faint sense that if Oscar & Martin did lose their lover, they know they would get by, they would move on, they could even fall for someone else. The more I listen, the more it seems a song of not-quite-finding-the-One, of persisting, than of true & ever after.

"Chaine Maile" is one of the best things I've heard this year.

[buy Oscar & Martin's excellent debut album - thankyou andrew]

(photo by celia perrin-sidarous, who has a new book for sale.)

Posted by Sean at June 20, 2011 7:47 AM
Comments

Reading the write-up got me so excited to actually listen to this track that untangled my headphones seemed to take an insufferable forever.
Did not disappoint. Thanks, Sean.

Posted by Constantinople at June 20, 2011 11:07 AM

Rarely do I like a band enough to bother checking out everything else on their label. I'm so, so glad I bothered this time.

Posted by Ryan at June 21, 2011 11:43 AM

The whole album's great, and as an aside, sounds impressive too - especially on headphones. Proud to call these folks neighbours.

Posted by Jon at June 22, 2011 10:09 PM

Really excellent song/album. Thanks for the introduction.

Posted by Mike D. at June 23, 2011 9:36 AM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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