Oscar Lang isn’t short of a cheery indie-pop bop or two, and his new EP ‘Hand Over Your Head’ contains five new ‘uns, sandwiched between fuzzy intro ‘Wake Up’ and the aptly-named outro, ‘Outro’. Out today (Friday, 11th September) via Dirty Hit, it’s the follow-up to recent drop ‘Overthunk’ and his also-aptly-named debut EP, ‘bops etc’. If you’re having a bit of a miserable time of it, it’s well worth bunging on. Why not have a listen while our Oscar here talks you through (almost) the whole thing, track by track.
‘Apple Juice’ was the first track that was recorded for ‘Hand Over You Head’ and then kind of lead the way for how the rest of the EP would sound sonically, Rich Turvey and I penned and demoed this tune the first time we had ever worked together, and I immediately knew that we were gonna make some bangers. We started by playing around with some influences and Beck came up as one of the big ones, so we started with this idea of a Beck-y type tune about apple juice, and it turned into what it is now. We recorded loads of additional sounds on a lot of this EP, and that laugh that gets repeated was actually a genuine one from a slightly questionable vocal take.
‘Get Out’ was written in January of this year but has now taken on a whole new meaning, haha. I originally wrote it as a kind of song to myself about getting out a bit more. I spent a lot of my teenage years inside playing video games and making music, and now I think my spine has bent due to me being hunched over a desk all that time. However, I could have never predicted that everyone in the world would be spending the next four months inside hunched over a desk, and now I guess the song has meaning for everyone.
‘Drinking Wine’ is a tune I’ve been sitting on for almost two years now, it’s actually one of the tracks that I showed Dirty Hit before I signed. We’ve been playing it live for so long now it feels amazing that we finally managed to capture that sweaty-live show essence in the recording. Playing live massively influenced the sound of this record, as with previous records I made the music and then thought about playing it live later. But now this whole EP was recorded with a band style arrangement to be able to replicate it live. Shame there’s not really any proper gigs till next year.
I Feel Good
‘I Feel Good’ is another track that we’ve been playing live for years now as well, in fact, I think we played this song at our first ever gig. It’s always been this super short but super punchy lil song in the middle of the set, which I would make up the lyrics for as we played every time we played it. So when deciding the tracklist for this EP and piecing together that it was a band-style EP, I knew it was a must.
The final track ‘Velvet Dreams’ was never intended to be one of my songs actually, haha. I made a demo for the track that had been slowed and pitch-shifted and wanted to make music using a pitch-shifted low down voice so I uploaded it onto Soundcloud under the name ‘The Aubergine Party Collective’. I ended up liking the track so much that I put it on my main Soundcloud and it has found its way onto this record. This is definitely the most atmospheric tune on the EP, and I wanted to have a kind of grandiose ending, so Rich Turvey and I used loads of different sounds on this one, there’s a mellotron doing the organ-like sweeping, there’s a vocoder in the chorus to beef out my vocal, and there’s actually a whip crack in there too. We ended up actually keeping some of the vibe of the original demo by recording the drums really fast into a Tascam 388 and running them back out but slowed down to create that lo-fi drum sound.
Taken from the September issue of Dork. Oscar Lang’s EP’ Hand Over Your Head’ is out 11th September.