Oscar – ‘Cut And Paste’ Review

Oscar Scheller’s been compared to Blur and Elastica, and that sounds about right

Oscar Scheller wants to write songs for [a]Rihanna[/a]. He explained to NME last year: “Unless you have a hit, her team won’t listen. So I need to get a hit.” ‘Sometimes’, the lead single from the north London singer-songwriter’s debut album ‘Cut And Paste’, was released for the second time in February this year (it went unnoticed when it debuted in 2014). It wasn’t quite a hit – but there’s probably a better, parallel universe where it went straight to Number One.An immediate and infectious Britpop-style banger, it sounds like the soundtrack to a lost ’90s sitcom. It’s so familiar it’s hard to believe no one thought to write it before.

Oscar’s brand of guitar pop has been compared to [a]Blur[/a] and – closer to the mark – [a]Elastica[/a]. The 24-year-old former art school student (he briefly attended Central Saint Martins in his hometown) earns those comparisons across this 10-track E-number rush of an album, which fizzes and pops like a mouthful of Sherbet Dip Dab and Cherry Coke. It’s so sweet you might crash when it’s over.


‘Breaking My Phone’, hooked around the delicious refrain “I keep on breaking my phone after I’ve spoken to you”, recalls Elastica’s booming ‘Connection’ with a modern, melancholy twist. Sunny but sorrowful tracks ‘Be Good’ and ‘Feel It Too’ are layered with irresistible calypso guitar licks. ‘Fifteen’ sounds like a sickly, saccharine love song until you listen to the words of the swooning, swelling chorus: “Then I see your face and I want to die/It’s how you make me feel”. ‘Daffodil Days’, named after an AutoCorrect typo that occurred when Oscar attempted to text a friend that he was having a “difficult day”, combines the melancholia with a buzzing, guitar-driven chorus that almost matches the heady heights of ‘Sometimes’.

One aspect of Oscar’s music that may prove divisive is his lush, posh baritone (and guest vocals on ‘Only Friend’ from fellow London musician Marika Hackman, who was once in a band with upper-class school chum Cara Delevingne, won’t help). But there’s surely enough here to bag him some space under Rihanna’s umbrella-ella-ella.

Details

Record label: Wichita Recordings
Release date: 13 May, 2016