Friday 28 June 2013

O Emperor - Contact

Single review by

Irish band O Emperor have previously toured with Mumford & Sons, but don't hold that against them, because it could be one of the most important things (besides their tunes) that they've done. We like O Emperor, we liked last year's double A-side single 'Electric Tongues'/'Erman Gou' which was the first new material since their debut album 'Hither Thither' (a top 10 record in Ireland, and nominated for the Choice Music Prize) and we liked 'Holy Fool', the first single from second album 'Vitreous' (out in August in the UK but available now on their home turf). Hopefully their psychedelic pop/rock tunes will have opened the eyes and ears of all the Topshop folk pretenders who attended those gigs, and maybe they realised that music can be a little more exciting.

The next track taken from the new record is 'Contact' which maintains an element of accessibility; you don't need to be a psych obsessive to get this one, but is also a rampant stomp through indie/rock/psychedelia and pop hooks. It's a top tune, and it doesn't rely on being overly left-field to become one. Many current psych bands are incorporating more drones and krautrock and stretching songs out past the ten-minute mark. This can be great, but if it becomes too common we're in trouble because not everyone can maintain quality for such a duration, so the whole scene could implode. It's bands like O Emperor and songs like 'Contact' that are keeping it grounded and still rooted in popular music; a base it needs to keep a grip on if it's not to become a niche area once more, so long may they continue down this path.

O Emperor's website

Buy the album

Catch them live:

Aug 29th Paris, Pop In, France
Aug 30th Schaffhausen, TapTab, Switzerland
Aug 31st Dresden, The Sound of Bronkow Music Festival Germany
Sept 1st Berlin, Privatclub, Germany
Sept 3rd Hamburg, Astra Stube, Germany
Sept 4th Leipzig, NaTo, Germany
Sept 5th Hannover, Feinkostlampe, Germany
Sept 7th London, Sebright Arms, UK

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