I mentioned that the new Bad Sauna album is due for vinyl release, and another album due to get the full vinyl treatment is the debut from Norwegian indie band Onsloow, who released ‘S/T’ last week.
They‘re another band that I‘ve written about previously, a 4 piece from Trondheim who originally formed as introspective shoegazers Cora Sandel, before realising that sounded like an All Inclusive resort in Crete and changing their line up and name to Onsloow. With a new sound they immediately burst onto the music scene last year, and it’s certainly pretty impressive that it’s taken them less than a year to release their debut.
Their three pre-album release singles, ‘Overthinking’, ‘Being with You’ and ‘A Good Day To Forget’ are the obvious catchy indie hits, very much written in the Power Pop style, Weezer, The Courtneys and others, but they do it really well and vocalist Johanne Rimul seems in her element with that style of song.
Somewhat inevitably the other tracks aren’t quite as fun, but actually there’s a depth to them that is interesting and sometimes surprising, and allows the rest of the band to take centre stage too. ‘Best Friend’ has melancholy vocals and guitars that hint at psych and dream pop influences, whilst in ‘Nothing but a Memory’ they maintain their normal high energy tempo with some Bernard Butler style guitars thrown in - maybe not too obviously but Onsloow clearly love a wide selection of indie guitar bands.
They even end with a slightly darker, longer track in ‘Webs and Destroyers’, with post rock drumming, thickly layered textures and Rimul’s vocals accompanying a far more intense sound, I really like it even if it’s a departure from those first hits we heard.
At just 8 tracks and 28 minutes long, ‘S/T’ isn’t as weighty or absorbing as some albums I’ll probably write about this year, however with such obviously ‘playlistable’ hits such as ‘Overthinking’ and a really enjoyable set of album tracks with a good instrumental sound, Onsloow have made a real impression with this album. Most importantly it‘s really fun to listen to, and I’m pretty sure it’ll be a ‘go to‘ album to lift the spirits on dark nights.