Monday, August 8, 2016

Listen/Watch: Oshwa - "Ultrafluorescent"

photo by Se Collier
After releasing the trailer for their upcoming sophomore record I We You Me at the very beginning of this year, Chicago art pop outfit Oshwa are finally offering up a much more substantial preview of what's to come with new single "Ultrafluorescent".

Directed by frontwoman Alicia Walter, "Ultrafluorescent" introduces a much more straightforward sound than the complex interlocking rhythms explored on debut full length Chamomile Crush. But breaking free from mathematical jams allows the life-affirming "Ultrafluorescent" to properly soar as it allows simpler pop conventions to carry its meaning. Big licks and vibrant coloring capture the fun of an Oshwa set as Walter sings of the joy of  being happy with yourself. "Ultrafluorescent" serves as a reintroduction to the project at Walter transforms it into more of a solo project but it's a welcome change that doesn't exact shuck its technical precision. Walter's voice is still capable of fantastic contortions and she still engages in some impressive technique when she finger taps out melodies on her guitar.  The project just isn't define by that anymore instead focusing on Walter's always winsome songwriting and knack for infectious melodies.

"Ultrafluorescent" is a wonderful introduction to Oshwa's second act. Lithe and powerful, charmingly simple, Walter puts herself wholly into the song and the project and it's hard not to fall for the absolute sincerity. I might miss the band's ability to craft song as wonderfully methodical and delightfully unique as "Old Man's Skies" but "Ultrafluorescent" highlights all of Walter's strengths that leave no doubts that the band's new direction will be equally as enjoyable.

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