Sunday 9 December 2012

Jordan O'Shea - Her Name Was _French Cinema_

EP review by KevW

Twenty year-old Jordon O'Shea is another product of Oxford's fragrant acoustic/alt-folk scene and the so fragile it would break if you breathe on it EP 'Her Name Was _French Cinema_' is his debut release, recorded and mixed in his shed (wonderfully known as the 'Shedquarters') and considering this, well, not even as much as home-made environment, it's done to a very high standard. Aside from the unusual use of underscores in the title, there's little on this EP that could be described as particularly new or radical. The vocals are very soft, and no matter the volume they're played at the songs require your full attention to grasp just what's going on. In that respect you could compare this effect to that of Nick Drake's most tender tracks.

The guitar is also amazingly quiet, but you suspect it wouldn't work any other way. The result of this approach is that when any break from the norm does arrive, such as the female vocal samples on 'Sleeping Birds' or the choral and drums ending to 'Funeral', they seem amplified. As a rule this EP is remarkably subtle in the way it puts its message across, and this has the paradoxical effect of giving the songs an extra force, maybe because your brain is more engaged than it normally would be. For comparisons O'Shea mentions Bon Iver and Jose Gonzalez, and while he may not be up to that standard yet (although it's quite possibly within his grasp) both are suitable examples of artists working in similar fields. His debut album is expected in January.

Jordan O'Shea's website

Stream or buy the EP

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