Wednesday, 25 September 2013

oliver watson: loosestrife: press release

Polite Records are proud to present Loosestrife by Oliver Watson...

cat no.: pcd015

artwork: recycled brown envelope, handwriting and water colour
price: £5 (CDR) £2 (download)

How many songs has Olly Watson written in the last ten years? I doubt that he knows. When I knew him in school he was recording one song a day, onto a minidisc player, after school and his job washing dishes at the bakery down the road. We recently rescued over 100 of his recordings from a laptop that crashed in 2007. 

He's made a shit-tonne of recordings. 

And he has made every one of them in the same punk-rock-as-hell way. His philosophy hasn't changed and even from the earliest, roughest recordings he made, his music has remained free of affectations.

He once wrote a set of rules for recording music, the first of which being 'That microphone is fine where it is'...

His songs are his songs. His recordings are his recordings. That is why it was imporatant that Olly had the freedom to make every aspect of this album himself.

A couple of Summers ago, Olly and Steph walked the Thames path from where they live in London to some rural place similar to where Olly grew up. Loosestrife is full of the experiences of that Summer. The sometimes uncomfortable butting together of urban and rural existance. Memories of a past life picked out of the dog-shitted rubble of crumbling city walls.

How the hell do I describe what it sounds like? Olly's voice is soft as Autumn but he's a powerful singer when he chooses to be. His use of a bit of reverb on this new eight-track gives his quieter moments a spaciousness, like an orange campfire light back in the recesses of a deep, dark cave. He's used omnichord and drum machine sparingly, adding occasional vivid bursts to the pastel shades of his music. The guitar, his main deal, is percussive, ranging from soft woody chord sequences and riffs to grating metalic shangalangs.

Olly is never alone now in his songs. Steph is heard in the background in the flat where they live together, where Olly recorded Loosestrife. She is his companion in all of his stories. His art is a reflection of his life and it is a life that he has built artfully. It is clearly the most important thing to him and his songs simply offer glimpses, friezes of that life.

You can listen to songs from Olly's recovered back catalogue, here.

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