Oscar Lang’s been a busy boy. Rather than spend his 2020 binge watching Netflix shows or perfecting his sourdough, the London based singer/songwriter has already released two EPs of lonely sunshine pop. ‘Antidote To Being Bored’ will be his third, but he’s saved the best and brightest for last.
2019’s debut EP ‘Bops Etc.’ was a jaunty record, perfect for the sort of raucous shows that he played as part of the Dirty Hit tour late last year (sandwiched between No Rome and frequent collaborator Beabadoobee), March’s ‘Overthunk’ was a woozy collection of introspective anthems while September’s ‘Hand Over Your Head’ leant into the meandering world of scuzzy psychedelic rock.
But as the name suggests, ‘Antidote For Being Bored’ isn’t interested in gazing out the window, choosing instead to kick open the door and have some fun. With the snarling confidence of Oasis in their prime but sounding like a heady mix of garage rock and post-punk, the title track is an electric introduction to the record. Writhing around at the very edge of chaos, ‘Antidote To Being Bored’ will make you want to throw pints, as well as the substantial meals that come alongside them and it’s proof that after a year of experimenting, Lang has become an artist who knows exactly what he wants.
There’s a hint of Radiohead in the glitching freakout of ‘That Isn’t What I Said’. The wonky pop song threatens to be consumed by regret (“I’m choking over my words, think that’s what I deserve cause I’ve said too much again”) but ends up screaming catharsis into the mirror while the swirling ‘Red Cherry Chapstick’ wrestles with apathy. The song could be about the horrendous state of the world or a breakup but as Lang sings “It’s getting harder to take it so we sit back and watch it burn,” he manages to inspire a glimmer of comforting hope.
It’s a moment of calm after the hyperactive punk attack of ‘Pretty Princess’. Starting out as an ode to Britpop before hitting the gas and unleashing warped synths with echoing vocals, Lang continues to toy with the unexpected. It’s a world away from the quiet close of the twinkling ‘Something Has Changed’ but Lang suits both extremes.
Stepping away from the instant gratification of the live show, this year has allowed Oscar Lang to explore. Energetic but always different ‘Antidote To Being Bored’ doesn’t see him find his sound but that was never the point. Capturing the thrill of the chase, it sees Lang willing to try new things with brilliant results as he creates the sort of antidote you’ll want to inject straight into your veins.
- Release date: December 4
- Record label: Dirty Hit