O+S is a band comprised of Orenda Fink of Azure Ray and Scalpelist (a.k.a.Cedric LeMoyne) of Remy Zero who, not unsurprisingly, sounds like the byproduct of the aforementioned bands converging on its self-titled debut, so clearly the DNA didn’t mutate during collaboration. With Fink handling the vocal duties, most of the album tends towards shoegaze. The album kicks off with “New Life”, a trip-hop number with Fink whispering, “I still like the sound of rain / On my roof at night,” and eventually concluding, “It’s not a new life / It’s the same old one / Just different.” Standouts include “The Fox”, (a must-hear for fans of Bat for Lashes) which features sing-speak vocals over a haunting string of ooh’s with minimal guitar, and “Lonely Ghosts”, which maximizes an antique piano paired with Fink’s vocals.
Not all the tracks are slow and dreamy, though. The trip-hop vibe is alive and well here, and it (plus some distortion) adds flavor to “Haunts” quite nicely. Other songs feature less acid-washed electronic beats: “Permanent Scar” is set to grungy programmed beats, and “Knowing Animals” falls somewhere between the two. There’s even a standard acoustic ballad, “My Friend.” Given the trademark sounds of Fink and LeMoyne this far into their respective musical careers, O+S is unlikely to become a project who differs greatly from this release. However, this is a pleasant album and should be enjoyed for its ethereal and danceable contents.
// Notes from the Road
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