On their debut album, Oracle Sisters leave the bustle of Paris for a sunny Greek island, and the sound of ‘Hydranism’ is one of permanently relaxed musicians on holiday.
Taking a break from moving and shaking with the likes of Papooz and L’impératrice, the trio go between the beautiful (‘Peat Fire Morning’s verses) and the absurd (‘Lunch and Jazz Chords’), showing us that breezy songwriting from the 2010’s can still sound fresh.
‘Tramp Like You’ and ‘Ruby On The Run’ are easily the strongest tracks, perfectly balanced between golden age indie-folk and something a little more. The album opener unfolds pleasantly as if being written in realtime, with a theatricality that’s shy of The Lemon Twigs, but still enough to feel like a statement. Alternatively, ‘Ruby On The Run’s restraint is idyllic, filtering out the excess like Wayfairers at dusk. Occasionally, the genre’s cliches such as unison chants (‘Hail Mary’ and ‘Hot Summer’) and the timbres of ‘RBH’, sound a little bit overdressed. Not to the detriment of the songs themselves, but in these instances Oracle Sisters are embracing the ostentatious, like a holiday retrospect with a ‘take me back’ caption.
There’s no doubt that ‘Hydranism’ is a great sounding record. Having the space to experiment with recording techniques in a converted carpet factory, alongside the meaninglessness of time provided by lockdown on Hydra, both proved beneficial to the albums production. The song’s are just crisp enough, with the versatility of their writing (from ‘Sailor Song’, the could be Weyes Blood ballad, to the hush of ‘Peat Fire Morning’) shinning through the recordings.
Ultimately, ‘Paris III’s blissed out life advice – ‘What ever makes you happy, what ever makes you sad/Is a part of you’ – sums up the general tone of ‘Hydranism’; life’s for living, pressure’s for tyres.
Oracle Sisters – Hydranism is out now via 22Twenty. Listen in full/Buy here.
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