A record that is as majestic as it is wonderfully simple.
London-born Baxter is the son of recently-deceased Blockhead Ian and has a fair share of his father’s talent, too. Though this is his debut release, the ‘Oscar Brown EP’ is a work of casual assurance that no family tree can provide, a record that is as majestic as it is wonderfully simple.
Title track ‘Oscar Brown’ especially enjoys the same spaced-out fragility that characterises Mercury Rev’s finest moments, an other-worldliness that reveals its beauty hesitantly. The barest touch of a piano and the hum of an organ make it hypnotic, immediately setting a standard for Spiritualized to live up to on their new album. And all this before the voice even comes in. To groaning cellos and the gospel strains of Johana Hussey’s backing vocals, Baxter sings like a despondent John Lennon (most lyrics are so soft they’re inaudible,
apart from the gloriously simple repeated refrain, [I]”Oscar Brown/We all let you down”[/I]). The gradual crescendo is mesmerising. And, by the end of the three tracks here, Baxter’s surname means nothing. This record is all you need to know.