Lately it seems as if London’s newest musical export, Oscar, is becoming somewhat of a sensation following a slot supporting Hinds on their UK mini-tour. A tour like this couldn’t have come at a better time for the alt-pop singer and his band as, with the release of their seven track Beautiful Words EP being on the horizon, it gave them one last chance to perform the unheard tracks to a receptive audience. Offering a mix of both old and new tracks, the EP seems to hold the sounds of Oscar and his mellow vocals in perfect union.
The previously released title track, Beautiful Words, was our first preview to the EP and it opens the record with a dynamic sense of energy and decision. It’s definitely one to sing along to with the anthemic chorus of ‘I just want to hear beautiful words, beautiful words returning’ and staggered synth blasts making it the perfectly rapturous track you’ll be wanting to hear this summer. Forget Me Not is similar to this with the melody being introduced by a contagious whistle and an almost reggae like snare, however underlying harmonies add a feeling of longing to both Scheller’s warm vocals and the mood – something which is heard in the lyrics ‘You try to forgive me but you can’t’.
We then hear another new song, Caramel Brown, before one of the band’s earliest outputs makes it appearance. Daffodil Days is a rich track filled with jangly guitar riffs and pulsating drum rhythms which are all white washed with a luscious vocalistion. Giving us an analogy of how smashing an iPhone screen is similar to destroying the good things in life, Oscar tells us how he ‘won’t break the good things that will come my way’ with his witty lyrics serving as a biting message. Grow Up and Told Me So act as tracks of equal importance to this but, what might seem a frightening message, is masked by bursts of energy and high spirited melodies. Closing the EP is Stay and, with its similarities to a love song and the lamenting of ‘Don’t go, everything is fine when you’re around’, Oscar lets us simmer over a somber tone.
Verging on the length of a mini-album, Beautiful Words is more than an EP with each track holding it’s own individual meaning and hearing Oscar’s sound grow bigger and bigger. It’s certainly something different with Scheller’s rich vocals washing over you in a way that leaves you feeling both warm and secure but also stripped of thought – whether this be from mindlessly singing back the lyrics or truly taking the motifs to heart. A release like this undoubtedly cements Oscar as one of the most exciting new acts around and holds the band in high stead for the future.
Words by William Castile