Coming together in Bristol, the four core members of Otherish hail from Belfast (three being born in the same house) and Winchester. Brothers Mark and Paul Bradley, and neighbour Francis Kane have been working with Winchester-raised George Claridge for over 30 years, on and off, and have now released their debut, eponymous album. At first hear, Radiohead comes to mind but that’s not surprising when you realise that some of the band were part of the experimental band me, cited as key influencers of Radiohead themselves. Like I said, these musicians have worked together for a long time and this shows in the harmony and flow of Otherish the album.
The album leads off with a couple of ethereal laments that have an almost elegiac quality, underpinned with a touch of psychedelia and experimental vision. Dreamy harmonies and lyrical melodies come to the fore in ‘Pyramids of Tir Chonaill‘, an ode to the landscapes of Donegal, before whisking us into the quicker paced ‘Your Tunnel‘.
From then on, Otherish take us on a slightly more conventional musical journey, albeit one that mixes in the experimental sounds that emanate from the beginning. ‘Ghosts‘ is the most conventional sounding track, with a strong vocal performance encompassing the passing of time.
Otherish is an album that is hard to pick a standout from but I have plumped for the mix of experimental and conventional that is ‘For Everyone‘. With it’s background of psychedelic sounds, the words of George Claridge leap out from the track:
“in the olden days before mobile phones and world of slaves…nothing was right, nothing wrong”
Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the musical direction of this album, the band switch it up and give us ‘Morning Sun‘ and ‘Dreamers‘, pair of joyfully upbeat songs with a sunny sound, even if the latter does talk about loneliness and how easy it is to not realise the isolation of being alone. Pop with a hint of disco makes an appearance as well and the fun of this album overall is encapsulated in ‘Penguins‘ – who doesn’t love an album with a song titled Penguins?
Otherish is clearly a band that work well together and their advice for aspiring musicians points this out:
“Try to do what means something and feels good to be doing. Don’t underestimate your role in the team. Love what you do, love your band.”
Otherish was released on 14 July 2021 on 3179959 Records DK. Get your copy here.
Album artwork: Maria Slovakova
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