PREMIERE: Let Oh Boy’s debut EP take you on a journey of self-discovery
We’re long-time fans of Sydney producer OH BOY here at Purple Sneakers, tracking his sound since his 2016 single, ‘Call Bby’. As an artist, he’s really come into his own since that moment, releasing track after track and teaming up with some of the countries best pop musicians, like feel-good-pop queen Mallrat, mellow pop-poet Imbi The Girl and saccharine dream producer Ninajirachi.
He’s been readying his long-awaited debut EP for a little bit now, and we’re proud as punch to say that we’ve got the first taste of his Brentwood Heights EP right here for you before it officially drops tomorrow.
Written between his home in Sydney, the east coast of Oahu, Hawaii and a house in the EP’s namesake, Brentwood Heights, LA, the EP is a celebration of more than just his sound. One thing that really strikes me about the EP is its central theme of collaboration. He couldn’t have done this without the help of his friends, but at the same time, the help from his friends has brought out an entirely new-found confidence in him that really makes this record feel cohesive.
If anything’s become clear over his last few singles, it’s that Oh Boy is committed to continually finding ways to reimagine his own vision for his sound and to simultaneously outdo himself. This six-track collection of works he’s put together does more than your average EP. Every track has been carefully considered, each feature carefully navigated and with each sonic decision, comes a further realisation of this already fully-realised project.
‘111ntro’ invites us on this road trip with Oh Boy, the static sounds of surfing the radio waves immediately perking our interest as to where it’s going to stop. As the car turns on and the windows are rolled down, we nestle in with glistening psychedelic pop. The angelic voice of Tim Nelson of Cub Sport croons beautifully atop soaring strings, and as the tape clicks over, we’re drawn into track two, ‘Angels 888’.
This inspiring session sees both artists stepping into the cosmic stratosphere to deliver this haunting, RnB jam complete with soaring harmonies and powerful lyricism. Oh Boy delivers what can really only be described as heavenly, other-worldly production. With a beautifully stripped back piano chiming quietly in the backdrop, an ensemble of strings eventuates into brass-boosted melodies, quiet synths and finally, a totally full soundscape teeming with careful percussion and whimsical vocals.
As the tape rolls over and the car’s indicator clicks quietly, track three, ‘By The Wa777’ with LOVER begins to emerge. Silky vocoded vocals are built delicately atop one another to create a choir of LOVER‘s heartbreakingly emotional voice. An electric guitar line croons quietly underneath, giving this a real power-ballad feel to it. It’s short but sweet, clocking in at just over two minutes, but I guarantee it will fly by.
‘Odyssey 444’ gives us a heavy-hitting hip-hop interlude. Keeping in stead with traditional hip-hop interludes, a story is told through wonky, pitched vocals and crisp, live-emulated percussion. ‘The world is in bad shape’ echoes fuzzily as a child asks what LSD is, taking us further down the rabbit hole into a bass-laden frenzy of nanged-out vocals and psychedelic undertones.
Track five, ‘Slid333’ features Sydney hip-hop legends Cult Shotta, and is the next single from the EP too. Coming out of the interlude, ‘Slid333’ is a playful juxtaposition, celebrating Oh Boy‘s ability to create a hip-hop track with his signature flair.
Of the collaboration, he said “Charlie of Cult Shφtta is one of the best rappers and songwriters in the country. We wanted to channel our energy to people, because whenever Cult Shφtta and our friendship groups are around each other we just resonate”.
It’s the most up-beat track on the record, with the nature of Cult Shotta‘s lyricism and rap flow and Oh Boy‘s chopped-and-skewed energetic production coming together for a party-ready track.
Keeping in stead with the EP’s central theme of friendship, we’re left to bathe in the sweet sounds of his previous single, ‘Talk To M333’ featuring LOVER and Oordayya. It’s an apt choice to close out the record with, with production help coming in from Golden Vessel, Tasker and Blessed too. It’s the most ‘all-in’ single on the record, and leaves us with a sweet taste in our mouths.
Where the EP was a journey through spirituality and psychedelia, this feels like a resolute moment for Oh Boy. What better place to end the record on than in the company of great friends and the perfect soundtrack to the sun setting.
As the tape winds up in the final moments of the track, we’re left with a feeling of wholeness. This release is more than just a few tracks put together, but a journey of self-discovery where he’s allowed himself to think about and feel every little emotion along the way.
Photo by Lulu
Words by CAITLIN MEDCALF
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