Listening Post

Hope you’ve had a chance to check out Oh Sees’ month-old album because there’s a new one coming in a few weeks – listen to ‘The Fool’

Listen to 'The Fool' – a return to the mellow beginning of John Dwyer's 20-year project

Variously going by the names OCS, Thee Oh Sees, The Oh Sees and Oh Sees, John Dwyer’s revolving and prolific DIY project will reach a couple of milestones next month – 20 albums in 20 years, with the release of ‘Memory Of A Cut Off Head’ on November 11th.

There’s something poetic, then, in how this new album returns to Dwyer’s original plans for his group, in name (it’ll be released as OCS) but also in tone.

20 years is a long time to be flying through garage rock in the manner that Oh Sees do, but while most of us have come to know them as a ferocious scuzz-rock group, that’s not how they started – OCS were a hushed, melodic affair, with vocals that sighed rather than shredded.

That was ultimately down to Brigid Dawson’s ’60s folk vocals, which are back again on this record. It’s billed as a true collaboration between her and Dwyer, with Dawson writing the lyric and Dwyer arranging the music.

Here’s brand new track ‘The Fool’, which follows the bands’ sharing of the album’s title track last month.

Dawson says of the song: “On the one hand, it’s a just a simple song about love-lost. About watching your man drive away, and being left behind for his pursuit of the muse, whatever or whoever that may be. When that happens a few times, how foolish it makes you feel.
And on the other hand, I was listening to a lot of Jeanne Lee when I was writing, and wanted this song to be an experiment with her sound-singing, no words just shapes and sounds.”

It’s a different vibe to August’s ‘Orc’ album.