I introduced Oslo Oscillator on Fadeawayradiate last year. The band has been tantalizing us with demos and singles for some years now, but the release of an album seemed to be stuck in the pipeline somewhere. But this year things took shape must faster than expected. The band joined Norwegian label Perfect Pop Records and voila, City Nomads saw the light of day on December 3rd!
The man behind Oslo Oscillator, Kåre Eriksen. mostly writes about leaving Norway for the lush scenery of South-Africa’s Cape Town, driving around past its many delights, and moving back to Oslo and making music with good old friends. The songs on City Nomads are about nostalgia, longing, and belonging resulting in a collection of roadmovie snapshots of and between two opposing worlds.
City Nomads is also a collage of references and citations of indie classics. Stereolab, Slowdive and Swerverdriver are a few stops on this ferry oscillating between Oslo and Cape Town, but the quotes never overrule the originality of the musical experience, nor the sense of quality.
City Nomads highlights:
Kickstarter “Peninsular” (obviously about Cape Town) is a light breeze that has us soaring over a stunning coastline: full of sparkly guitars and sunshine-pop harmonies ala Beach Boys and chord progressions on keyboards that are unmistakably inspired by Stereolab.
It’s definitely one of the highlights of the album, but “CT Nomads” is very probably my favourite. Kicking off with a bang, propelling us at fast speed with the power, dynamics and fuzz of Swervedriver, alternated with contrasting verses of floating serenity, propped by breathy harmonies and plenty of reverb. Splendid!
“Newlands” is a friendly, mid-tempo indie ditty that babbles forth, airy and unpretentious. It’s a ride in an open top old-timer, watching landscapes, colours and life passing by.
“Brassy Loop” is another highlight that we have had the pleasure of knowing for a while now, and, once again, it’s like the very best of Stereolab compressed into one delightful, looping orb of nostalgia and joy: one that unfolds and build as it rolls, adding brass and psychedelic swirls along the way until it submerges.
“All This Time” is the “eye of the storm” of City Nomads, a moment of stillness and reflection with the obvious signature of Slowdive. The song reflects that “now moment” we all have sometimes: a moment in which we are like spectators of our own memories and expectations that drift past, while looking out of a window in a train at night, seeing nothing but reflections.