Given that Londoner Oscar Lang’s rise came about thanks to his knack at writing earwormy bedroom pop numbers, that the best of debut ‘Chew The Scenery’ comes when that shines through is not particularly surprising. More a scrapbook-like collection of songs than a meticulously plotted album - the inclusion of an introduction and intermission do more to perpetuate the latter than create a line through the record - it’s when Oscar’s inner ‘nice guy’ sits at the forefront that he succeeds most. Take the sentimental piano-lead ‘Write Me A Letter’, on which his crooning reaches Rex Orange County levels, or the hypnotically subdued ‘Quarter Past Nine’, and ‘Are You Happy?’ on which he makes like a one-man Magic Gang, or a less glam Declan McKenna, all pure smiles and jangly guitars. It’s only when he tries to amp it up that ‘Chew The Scenery’ falters; ‘Stuck’ might possess a standard freshers indie chorus, but when it aims for Oasis-level swagger, it meets closer to the Gallaghers’ recent solo endeavours than bucket-hatted air-punches. Similarly the euphoria of ‘Yeah!’ misses the mark. Still, there are more than a handful of stellar moments, not least ‘Final Call’, which brings to mind early Coldplay with its tender piano and inclusion of strings.
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His debut album arrives this Friday.
After three years of penning indie bops (etc.) in his bedroom, Oscar Lang is growing up - and unveiling a debut album that forms the perfect soundtrack for it.
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