Last night I went to sleep with a head full of beer and a stomach ready to punish me for it at the earliest possible opportunity. Luckily I had Oscar’s—the latest indie darling—new LP Cut and Paste which came out yesterday on Wichita Records under my pillow (metaphorically, try sleeping on vinyl – it’s a freaking nightmare).
When the first gurgles of my belly woke me to find a grey Saturday morning I instantly felt despondent. What happened to the summer? I had plans, dammit. At least I could go back to my bed and sleep away the morning until the day had a chance to redeem itself, I thought. No. Builders had decided to take up residence anywhere within a 10-metre radius of my eardrums. The morning was ruined.
As I started to sulk as only an apparent grown up can do, I noticed the face of indie-pop’s most valued dreamboat Oscar, staring across the room from the cover of his LP. I put the coffee on to brew and let Oscar use his nuanced pop sound to soothe my aching head, washing machine gut and petulant heart.
After the first crackle of dust made its way form the stylus and the brilliantly booming ‘Sometimes’ reverberated around my room it drowned out the noise of drills and hammers and replaced it with a warm glow and a smile across my face.
It continued with my first scalding sip as ‘Be Good’ bounced in with Oscar’s croon declaring “I’m wide awake, I feel your pain”. The likelihood is he wasn’t talking about my burnt tongue but the groove of the track made me feel comforted and put a spring in my step all the same.
As ‘Feel It Too’ and ‘Good Things’ continue to mix delicate rhythm and uplifting guitars with Oscar’s melancholy delivery added to a crackle of bacon fat in the pan began to melt my mood somewhat. By the time ‘Breaking My Phone’ scratched across the airwaves with its distorted dub vibe I was squeezing brown sauce on white bread (debate that amongst yourselves) and singing at the top of my lungs, cursing the modern world.
One of the standout singles of the album is followed swiftly by another. ‘Daffodil Days’ is what makes Oscar Scheller just Oscar. Vibrant riffs are punctuated with pop sensibilities and hooking choruses, all amounting to one of the best songs on the LP.
When the crusts of my bacon sarnie stared at me, judging me with their proposed included vitamins, the moodier ‘Fifteen’ melted across the smokey atmosphere. Its sadness is both accessible and grandiose, it feels like every teenage heartbreak rolled into one.
‘Beautiful Words’ is there, however, to pick you up by the scruff of the neck and although the lyrics are somewhat bittersweet the music is both heavily rhythmic and splashed with colour. The interchanging vocals and touching lead line all add to the crooning crescendo. A crescendo which led me to jump across the sofa spilling coffee all over the cushions—entirely carefree and comfortable with my choice.
As ‘Gone Forever’ begins the gentle descent from the highs of the previous tracks it does so with electro bets backed by authenticity and the ever-present and almost perfect vocal from Oscar. “Tell me when I’ve reached the edge, if I can’t see,” relays Oscar with a veracious and touching effect. It’s a brilliant way to end an album full of emotion and energy. Its kindness and tenderness encouraged me to get myself a glass of OJ. Look after yourselves kids.
When all is said and done, when the crusts are in the bin, the pan is washed and the glass of juice empty, Oscar has created something truly brilliant. He, like Blur and others before them, have created a pop record which is dripping with honesty, style and authenticity.
It’s not pop because of a big budget or a desire to sell records, it is pop because Oscar is someone who sees the value in the every day, the romance of the rudimentary and the glory of a simple breakfast. Oscar, you saved my breakfast and I’m eternally grateful. What are you up to for lunch?