Oshwa - New Music "Introducing"


It's always a tricky one when I discover a new artist late where to start with my posts. I tend to avoid full album reviews that critique and prefer to mush over a few tracks instead, it's a formula that suits me I find (and it's a lot less time consuming too). The Chicago based Oshwa have a recently released full length LP Chamomile Crush to their name and a couple of EPs released since November 2011, it was the live video I've posted below "Grar" that brought them to my attention, I forget my source (sorry)...

It's a performance that will instantly command your attention, pry you away from whatever else you may be doing and compel you to listen fully for the tracks entire six and a half minutes. Starting a cappella with a looping vocal, you soon discover this extraordinary, soulful voice that should be heard by everyone. Alicia Walter has completely stolen the show before we even hear the rest of the band. They do join in, half-way through with gradually swelling instrumentation that mixes a mosaic of playful loops and percussion to create the most expressive of soundscapes.

The two acts I can't help but mention when trying to come close to describing the sounds I've been listening to for the best 45 minutes are so are Dirty Projectors and Tune-Yards, the harmonies and melodies throughout are unstructured and unpredictable and surprises follow at every turn, one moment it's bat-crazy art-pop best portrayed on "One Man Skies" with shimmering guitars and intricate vocal harmonies or the title track which adds in some Talking Heads eccentricity amongst some stunning vocal interplay. Then there's "Emily" and "Runnin" which are the releases most delicate, intimate moments, the former, a beautiful acoustic folk song and the latter, the albums closing track, sees plucked strings and fluttering piano provide the platform for Alicia's vocals to floor you one last time.

I've can't help but post another live video below too, "Emily" is here expanded with the addition of a luscious string section and it's completely magical stuff too.

Chamomile Crush is available now via Naked Ally Records. Thank me after.