US based Lucas Oswald has released his new solo album, Whet on the Cosmic Dreamer Label. Lucas was a touring musician with Shearwater and The Appleseed Cast, and has since embarked on a long and cathartic songwriting and recording process that resulted in the songs that now make up his new album Whet.
Whet charts Oswald’s own battles with depression but is ultimately about growth and hope. As he puts it, “When you’re depressed, there’s such a lack of [desire]. So I liked the idea of the album being my own cathartic creation that would stimulate my own desire again.” Whet is certainly a moving piece of work. The opening line of "Dark on Us" follows a thudding drum solo and encapsulates the sad reality for many depressives; ”another sedative to feel ok….”
The songs on Whet are deeply personal and close to Oswald’s heart, this aspect of the record is audible in tracks like "Passenger" which was, as Oswald puts it; “definitely influenced by working as a ‘sideman’ or playing ‘second fiddle’ to other artists’ visions,” adding that "Long Long Year" is also about being “exhausted, trapped, and broke.’’ The creation of this record has served as both a coping mechanism and outlet for his creative release.
The stand out track is the beautifully composed and performed "Colours that I Like", the lyrics drift whimsically and hopefully across the melody, it offers the glimpses of the hope that fleet across the mind as one recovers, the emergence of confidence from the cocoon of depression, it’s almost as though Oswald is seeking permission to have an opinion from the love of his life.
This is a compelling piece of work, best appreciated from a comfy sofa in a quiet, dark house when the business of the week has finished. I’m sure that Oswald’s live performance will offer further insight and emotion to his work. He will be playing a number of UK shows with celebrated singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop.
28 - Manchester, UK @ Stoller Hall*
30 - Bristol, UK @ Thekla*
01 - London, UK @ Union Chapel*
02 - Brighton, UK @ The Haunt*
03 - Milton Keynes, UK @ The Stables*
06 - Dublin, IRE @ The Workmans Club*
07 - Belfast, UK @ The Strand Art Centre*
08 - Glasgow, UK @ King Tuts*
09 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club*
Review by Pete Yeomans