London based artist/multi-instrumentalist Oscar Lang has shared a new track from his upcoming debut LP Chew the Scenery, the strummy and summery ’21st Century Hobby’.
“‘21st Century Hobby’ is a tune based on the idea of society’s obsession with sharing your life online and comparing yourself to other people,” Lang expats in a press release. “There was one point where I was spending 13 hours a week on social media, which equated to about a month every year. That was a really dark time for me – I always thought that it would never affect me, but it took some time to realise that it was subconsciously affecting my mental health.”
As someone who’s job includes tweeting his material and reading over the responses, lines like “Blue light/Finding it hard to sleep/At night/Falling into the deep” cut pretty deep. Lang’s thesis is simple yet effective: “We’re not made to compare”. In other words, living life online is hardly living life at all. Ain’t that the truth.
What could easily come off as a lecture is saved by a casual raggedness and indelible catchiness that centres around folky acoustic guitars and psychedelic chord progressions. As the song sinks deeper into reverb and echo, the swirls of fuzzy electric guitars boost a chorus that never forgets to include the melodic goods. A song like this is incredibly easy to like because it never tries too hard or stretches itself beyond its means. Lang knows exactly which chords and instrumental elements will work, and he sticks to them. Less is certainly more here.
’21st Century Hobby’ comes as the third single from Chew the Scenery after ‘Stuck’ and ‘Are You Happy?’. Those two songs were a perfectly fine slice of alt-pop, but ’21st Century Hobby’ has been the one stuck in my head for a while now. With it, Lang raises the bar, and the expectations, for himself and for the rest of the material on Chew the Scenery.
Check out the official video for ’21st Century Hobby’, along with Oscar Lang’s tour dates, down below. Chew the Scenery is due for a July 16 release.
Oscar Lang 2021 UK tour dates:
- Aug 14 | 110 Above Festival, Leicester
- Sep 25 | Dot to Dot Festival, Bristol
- Sep 26 | Dot to Dot Festival, Nottingham
- Oct 19 | The Deaf Institute, Manchester
- Oct 20 | Jacaranda Records, Liverpool
- Oct 21 | Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield
- Oct 25 | Firebug, Leicester
- Oct 26 | Komedia, Brighton
- Oct 27 | The Forum, Tunbridge Wells
- Oct 28 | Camden Assembly, London
- Dec 11 | Sonic Wave Festival, Birmingham