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Oliver Spalding

Novemberism (Monotreme)

By • Dec 21st, 2019 • Category: Album review

Jeff Buckley is an obvious comparison to make with Oliver Spalding. The high, keening notes. The perfectly placed vocal phrasing. What stops him being a copyist is the inspired, spare use of sparkling electronics.

The pace is picked up with the title track. It’s hard to make out the words at first. When they do start to come through, their actual meaning and what you think they mean happily collide. That makes it more delicious.

Spalding has bled the essence of his influences – Buckley, The Blue Nile, Steely Dan, Kraftwerk – and stirred them into his own concoction. On songs such as ‘Emissive’, there is the air of universal concerns such as love, relationships and the tensions and frictions caused by one couple having different ideas of both. He sounds far too young to have gone through some of the experiences, but it is refreshing to hear him try.

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