With the reverb-drenched escapism of last years ‘Cut and Paste To Waste‘ EP, Matthew ‘Oli’ Oliver presented himself as a modest and slightly melancholic personality, displaying a fondness for subtle hooks and discerning lyricism. Upon the release of second EP ‘No Lust For Life‘, Oliver has taken a different approach to developing his sound, one that is immediately apparent on new single ‘Stranger Daze‘. What isn’t contrasting from the aforementioned first EP is Oliver’s poignant voice remains, trying to find himself whilst dealing with the complexities of modern life.
What’s immediately noticeable is the clarity within which the recording thrives. The sharpness of the drums provided by The Red Cords‘ Matt Cleave, the jovial nostalgia of Dan E Brown’s bass and Dan Morris‘ trebled rhythm section make for cohesive progression, yet they make for an exceptional added bonus. It’s in Oliver’s patience and control of his delivery, especially the strength and ardour felt in his vocals, that the track really blooms.
Oliver is frank and unequivocal, perplexed by humanities’ disrespect for one another. Questioning whether everything is actually reality or a complexity of his imagination, Oliver finds solace in memories, yet is unsure if even they are a reality. At a low and only influenced by the brick streets and dark buildings that surround him, his memories are so stretched, he questions if he’s remembering happier times or finding escape in reverie. “So I’m heading to the beach now // were we ever all real, or here, or now“.
In questioning whether something so depressing can be real, it’s commendable to Oliver’s ability as a song-writer that he writes so openly and with such poetic charm. Finding catharsis in the clarity of his composition, ‘No Lust For Life‘ presents not just Oliver, but the listener with an escape from the overwhelming nature of modern life.