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Oscar And The Wolf - Entity (Review)

Oscar And The Wolf, Entity

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

ENTITY marks the full debut album from Oscar And The Wolf following the release of two EPs and it’s certainly an interesting and moodily compelling listen.

Any number of adjectives could be attributed to the album but, in essence, the 12 tracks delve into Max Colombie’s heart and soul to deliver a moody slice of synth pop that has been overseen by the much lauded multi-instrumentalist/producer Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, David Byrne, Jon Hopkins, Wild Beasts), who mixed the album in London.

When the mix is right, it can be quite intoxicating. And things get off to a great start with Joaquim introducing the hypnotic, sombre yet strangely beautiful synth sound behind Colombie’s equally subdued, atmospheric vocals. There’s a cinematic quality to those synths, which weave their way in and out of the late night track, combining something slightly dangerous with something just as compelling, particularly when Colombie adopts a more softy-softly vocal style.

Similarly, Bloom (Oh My Baby) has a quietly addictive aura about it, especially once the twin boy-girl vocals take effect. The synth, here, while more subdued and reduced to largely a foreboding throb, provides a nicely realised backdrop (at least until the brighter chorus).

Where Are You has a nice sense of longing married to some nice synth arrangements, while Strange Entity drops one of the more ‘pop’ moments courtesy of its slicker beat structure and brighter melodies. But the inherent moodiness and, to a degree, strangeness (or distinct-ness) that accompanies Oscar And The Wolf’s sound remains intact too.

However, the album dips slightly by the time Undress rolls around, while Astriu never really gets going despite a really nice piano arrangement.

Somebody Wants You has a Massive Attack quality about it, which is good, Dream Car Ocean Drive is as dreamy and seductive and drive-worthy as its name suggests (and could propel another soundtrack moment instrumentally) and Princes is another quickly accessible ‘pop’ moment that suggests Oscar And The Wolf could enjoy mainstream appeal if they decide to venture more into that territory.

The atmospheric moodiness returns, however, with the album’s two final tracks, Under The Skin and Killer You, when the synth sound again becomes more prominent and compelling (the work on Under The Skin being particularly memorable).

Hence, Entity has to go down as a success for Oscar And The Wolf and an LP that marks the arrival of an intriguing and distinct new talent.

Download picks: Joaquim, Bloom (Oh My Baby), Where Are You, Strange Entity, Princes, Under The Skin

Track listing:

  1. Joaquim
  2. Bloom (Oh My Baby)
  3. Where Are You
  4. Strange Entity
  5. Undress
  6. Astriù
  7. Somebody Wants You
  8. Dream Car Ocean Drive
  9. Princes
  10. Nora
  11. Under The Skin
  12. Killer You