No boys allowed… except Omes’ new EP, Boy.
With a sound reminiscent of Matthew Lee Cothran and Hovvdy, Omes’ debut is still uniquely him. It is an incredibly heartfelt and intense look into his internal world. Listening to each song feels less like music and more like the act of staring into a mirror from his perspective. The sliding of fingers across his guitar’s neck contrasted against the drum machine’s clacking amd the guitar’s thrumming creates a textural kaleidoscope out of something simple.
With song structures built upon layered guitar refrains, a doubled melody, and hazy vocals in the backdrop, the first track “wyd” takes the banality of texting conversations and makes something special out of ‘nothing.’ About half way into the short track it starts building up to a ruminative orchestration.
On “Wet Smoke” Del Col’s voice sounds both steady and unsure, with the ends of some phrases inflecting upwards like a question as he vaguely references evasion and expectations. Every now and then the melody is paralleled in both his voice and guitar, strengthening the theme and deepening it’s cut on the listener.
Featuring the EP’s most straying musical themes, with a swinging half-step, piano, and vocals from vivi milne, “Ok” explores the layered nature of saying you’re okay. In the song, Omes goes from saying he’s ok to admitting that he’s on the edge of hiding, with a counterpart pointing out how more often than not he tends to consider the opposite of what he has.
On the fourth track, “Mend,” Omar’s ability to communicate non-verbally is at its peak. In a similar vein to the song titles and the artist’s shortening of his name into a single syllable moniker, the song manages to encapsulate and evoke feeling despite being the most lyrically sparse of the collection.
The song that first introduced me to Omes on the Z Tapes Spring Compilation is the finale. “Mess” depicts pining for lost love in a way that masks the pain of it all in the glow of fond memories.
Boy is out now digitally and on cassette through Devil Town Tapes.