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The Latest from Oliver James


On his website singer/songwriter Oliver James states “I want to write songs that touch people and come from a real place.” That’s something I hope to feel from every artist I listen to. Suffice it to say I definitely felt that with these songs.


As far as I could tell the artist released two semi-recent singles and EP’s. The first is from 2019 which is called “The Hardest Part” which is an EP and the other is from 2022 entitled “Winter Sun.” The first thing I will say is I thought the cover art was very cool for the EP The Hardest Part. It’s a very well-done painting.


I started listening to the title track “The Hardest Part” which almost sounds like a traditional Celtic song at first. It’s very atmospheric and I loved how the cello melded with the synth pads. The sound is gorgeous. I feel like most of the movement in the track was made by the guitar which keeps a consistent strumming pattern but later the drums make it feel epic. The vocals sound very good. There’s the lead which consistently lands but also these angelic like vocals harmonies that repeat the title of the song.


“Still Holding My Breath” sounds like this slow burn of a song in the best way possible. If you find yourself in a rush, listening to this song might make you slow down. The keys with laptop steel guitar sounds incredible. I also loved the warm organ.


“Wait For Me” is the most intimate song. It has this ’70s folk quality to it. At the center of the song is some well done guitar picking and vocals. There’s also some subtle accompaniment which I’m pretty sure was an accordion.


“A Different Kind of Pain” was a different beast. I was reminded of late stage Beatles with this song. It felt like a more direct influence than the previous song. There’s some exceptional orchestration on this song and also some really cool effects which sound like radio transmissions.


Last but least was “Winter Sun” which is the single they released almost two years later. This song sounds huge. It’s a lot more rock-oriented than anything on the EP. The grooves on this song absolutely soar to crazy heights. It’s also quite catchy. I can clearly see why they decided to go with this as a single.










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