“There’s no separating art from reality”, says Indiana-born musician Peter Oren. “The reality is that our politics are guided by our emotions, and music has the capacity to demonstrate those emotions, at least on an individual level. And if you can talk to someone on an individual level, you might be able to have a more useful conversation than if you’re talking to a roomful of people”.
Considering that Peter’s upcoming new album ‘Anthopocene’ takes its name from humanity’s recently (ish) christened era, loosely defined as being when man started to impact Earth, it’s unsurprising that his art is so intertwined with reality. While that sounds quite crushing though, Peter’s also set to temper that with a bit of hope stemming from his songs: “Music is a sympathetic process, where people who feel the same can experience it together”.
As such, the title track from the album dabbles in darkness, all dusty percussion, lilting guitar melodies and, at its climax, swooning, melancholic strings, but there’s also something oddly uplifting about it. Perhaps that’s because there’s something warming about Peter’s distinctive vocals, which sits somewhere between the world-weary growl of Leonard Cohen and some of the old blues masters.
“I don’t know if my songs would change somebody’s mind”, Peter says, “but they might help people feel a little bit less alone in their opinions and might encourage them to get involved in some way”. On the strength of ‘Anthopocene’, that’s an ambition that’s sure to come to fruition.
Listen to ‘Anthropocene’ below.