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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

8.9

Oscar + Martin
For You

Oscar + Martin sound like a soulful retelling of a trek to Shaky Henry's Barbershop, with a short detour via Lovers Lane on the way back to the Melbourne suburbs, courtesy of your old mate Gangsta Toby and his purple 808-and-diesel 1976 Impala Lowrider. Urgh. You know, when you spend 75% of your day deleting press releases, eventually some of their "Radiohead deep-throating R.Kelly" hyperbole will sneak into your psyche. Ticks burrowing deep into your brain like the infectious pop grooves of this record, eventually blocking messages to your soul and ultimately railroading your Sunday evening plans with Jessica, the sweet and innocent young girl you've been having casual dry-humping sessions with for three months but secretly wish was wearing a Commitment Ring matching yours. A heart-wrenching tale which, appropriately enough, is probably a fairly accurate way to describe the album's lyrical focus.

Oscar + Martin don't fit into any of your pre-defined genre boxes. Furthermore, they don't sound like any of the other endless fake clowns attempting to mimic their way through the Australian left-of-centre pop landscape with a single memorable hook and heaps of positive quotes from respected interns at the national indie radio station. A million PR monkeys working for a million days (with HR-approved breaks for launch parties, cocktail pre-release listening sessions and booking in Brag adverts) will attempt to pigeonhole their sound with a fancy label. Kitchen Sink RnB. Twitch-hop. Wonky Tropical Soul. They all (kinda) fit — if you squint your ears enough. And they're also fictional genre crazes which don't do the duo any justice.

It feels unfitting to over-analyse this. It is — quite simply — comfortable music. Oscar + Martin's feet are firmly planted in both the experimental and pop campsites, yet this record achieves the almost impossible task of stylistically contrasting itself — mostly through the large void between the heavy hip-pop basslines and the uncertain and compassionate crooning — and yet also sounding completely natural and free. Equally, this lust for balance is extended to the record's welcoming songwriting style which, even though it primarily focuses on tackling the dangerously mountainous terrain of Relationships, doesn't get lost in it's own thoughts and feelings, never alienating the listener with an overly personal, introspective attitude.

For You is a rare treat. Blissfully playful in it's uniqueness, yet welcoming, it's an album that'll appeal to you on multiple levels. The addictive pop hooks are for the first few laps, getting your toes tapping and your lady's booty shaking. Yet the album is still there later on, when your lady has moved on to a fella with a better IT management job and a huge penis. Then it will hug you tightly through the dark nights and talk you down from the edge. Undeniably one of most interesting, engaging and exciting local releases in memory.

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Oscar and Martin

 

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