Oliver Mavilio is an artist based in the city of Norwich in the U.K. He’ll let you know that much, but don’t expect to get too cozied up and know too much more. With a Bandcamp bio that simply reads, “singer,” Oliver Mavilio is an artist that demonstrates that he is the one to determine the image conveyed, expression, and the music you need to hear. Not necessarily what the societal pressures of social media or the music industry per se, might think you need to hear. No, you will not find Oliver Mavilio “Tweeting the deet” on Twitter. Nor will you find him endlessly arguing politics on Facebook or acting silly on Tik Tok to get some clicks. His message is quite plain and simple. In fact, I have belabored over analyzing it up to this point, more than necessary already. The message is:
Listen to his new song, “Distant Sound” on all the streaming platforms. Or listen to it as well on Bandcamp (free download available):
In line with being concise and to the point about this release, there are still many things to speak about regarding the release and they are sharply focused on the artistic expression embedded within it, as it probably should be.
Musically, the arrangement is very stylish. It features a country western chord progression. I’m not enough of an guitar expert to call out if it’s a I-IV-V or the I-IV-Vi-V one, but it’s the one that sounds reminiscent of that classic Johnny Cash type of “shuffle.” A melancholy piano melody rounds out each musical “phrase” in the progression. It is beautifully done. It vibes like something you would hear in a Quentin Tarantino movie. When it all comes together, it sounds Rockabilly and reminds me of Murder By Death. Vocally, the delivery reminds me of something post-punk or New Wave like The Smiths or The Cure.
The imagery that accompanies the music is also interesting. Oliver Mavilio cites Johnny Cash, Elvis, Nick Cave and western cinema (in sound and stylistically) as inspirations and influence for the music. You hear it, as I described earlier, but you also visualize it aesthetically in the grainy black and white photo of the album artwork, which I totally appreciate. I too am a big fan of those old movies that are essentially carried almost entirely by intricate dialogue, and often times music, to tell a story. One of my most prized possessions, are some old music demos my Grandfather made in 1940 on 78rpm speed vinyl. The sound and imagery of those times are eclectic and can definitely contribute to a cryptic vibe.
Lyrically, the song is dark. Not for the faint of heart. That’s exactly what I like about it. Oliver Mavilio dives head first into nihilistic sentiment and harsh perceived realities. “Only Death Calls Me Now / Now Your Voice is Just Another Distant Sound” echoes throughout the chorus outro of the song. The artist elaborates:
For first time listeners, all I can say is that I hope this resonates with you somehow, the tone is frequently dark, the music is a result of my mental state, my well-being, or un-well-being. It depends on how you read into it.
Oliver Mavilio on “Distant Sound”
Classic Mavilio. His “well” or “un-well” being depending on how it’s read into. So, perhaps my take on how dark it is, actually says more about me and how it resonated, than how dark the song actually is. As Oasis would say, “Definitely Maybe.” That’s just one more reason why I love music. Just like the old time films and grainy photos, the perception of whether that comes off as a wholesome, happier, and simpler time or a stark, unsettling, and brutal time in history is in the eye, and ear, of the beholder. Great tune. Looking forward to the pre-save.
Don’t forget to support this project and follow him on Instagram, Spotify, and Bandcamp. It also helps to stream and share their music; you can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Indie Only, Alterindie State Of Mind, Debut Bands (Off The Radar), 12 New Songs This Week, Chill – Folk – Acoustic, Autumn Acoustic, and Unknown But Essentials!.
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