Otherish – “inspired by everything” – don’t dally on a second album.
Release Date: available now
Format: digital / CD
The Belfast via Bristol quartet (in fact – “the best band in Bristol” – NME) quickly follow up 2021’s The Book Of Otherish.
Fourteen tracks make up the intriguingly titled Gone Wrong Rainbow Blues and we’re eased in with a Boil Me Into Life that creeps and patters imperceptibly with a stream-of-consciousness lyric that gives a hint that we’re about to encounter a whole host of influences. 60s folk, 70s pop and classic rock, 90s alternative and more. An arty avant garde-ness is at the core in both the delivery that verges on posturing Bowie-isms and angular arrangements.
Their Mistake adds brassy punctuation where Kingdom Of Birds offers a more pastoral lushness and very English textures which verge on dreamy psychedelia. The soft lullaby of Planxty Mark Loudon takes the dreamscapes one step further as we become fully immersed in a warmth and comfort that’s both off the beaten track but deceptively safe.
The comparisons with the likes of Nick Drake in the gentle air and introspection and Peter Gabriel with the sense of experimentation start to surface and become more apparent. The falsetto of Loughshore Dim is very much of the school of thought where “what would happen if…” is explored and then un-self-consciously let go. There may be a sense of ‘not quite complete’ but good to go on some of the shorter pieces which appear as brief vignettes. Moodscapes or broodscapes, the effect is a relaxing and restful experience.
A similar cool groove – think Becker and Fagan in Steely Dan jamming with Ray Manzarek – carries My Lagan Sunrays. Velvety lounge jazz carries us downstream and into a twinkling Gold In The Stormwaves. The essence of calm and minimalist, less is more, accompaniment.
The parting shot of almost eight minutes of Right All The Time finds Oterish asking “what’s it like being right all the time?” A squealing guitar break makes a rare appearance and did we mention psychedelia? As freak out as Gone Wrong Rainbow Blues gets. And there we are. A set that soothes and rarely ruffles its feathers in anger. A place where restraint makes itself at home, feet under the table and breathes a chilled ambience.
Here’s the single, Their Mistake: