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Oscar Lang's debut Chew The Scenery is a scuzzy triumph

"Chew The Scenery"

Release date: 13 August 2021
Album of the week
Oscar Lang Chew The Scenery 800x
09 August 2021, 07:00 Written by Lana Williams
​On his long awaited debut full-length, Oscar Lang - ever cool and contemporary - is defying odds. ​

Translating complex feelings into emotive lyrics, on Chew The Scenery he’s exploring themes of love and the pitfalls of romance through cohesive cuts and soothing vocals; all entwined amongst confessional tales . Each infused with dark undertones, and his trademark light-hearted introspection, it's an enveloping aura of dreamy psychedelia.

Ever since breaking through with his early EP’s, Lang has been taking scuzzy indie rock to an entirely new level. His delightful penchant for fantastic tracks cements him as one of the best indie acts to emerge in the last few years. Along with his use of experimentation and delightful instrumentation, Lang’s skyward facing sonic development is in its neatest form on Chew The Scenery; an ode to his prowess as an artist.

Making a stellar opening with “Our Feature Presentation”, Lang wastes no time in setting the scene with a buzzy and enticingly electronic track that blissfully transitions into the darting “21st Century Hobby”.

Filled with tales of “fake friends/ [and] living life to pretend”, it’s all in the name of shining a light on the realities of modernity and social media. Focusing on the rise in popularity of networking sites such as TikTok and Instagram, Lang’s noticed things aren’t all sunshine and daisies. With social media also having an increasingly negative impact on mental health, Lang lends his raw opinion on his finds and faults of the 21st century world. Set to jangly guitars and echoey vocals reminiscent of Declan McKenna and JAWS, he tackles the tumultuousness of modern life with a certain bravado.

The album’s fourth offering “Stuck” comes in at full throttle; a chaotic amalgamation of experimental textures and distorted vocals, tackling the dangerous cycle of being trapped in a never-ending loop of your own, racing thoughts. Replaying embarrassing moments, and situations that are better left forgotten – when it comes to self-introspection - Lang comes at it with a level of honesty like no other. Clocking in at just over two minutes, he manages to cram an abundance of complex emotions into a short but sweet segment whilst maintaining the integrity and confidence of the track.

Transitioning through a handful of upbeat and joyous notions, we reach the breezy and slick, “Are You Happy” - a dreamy delicate cut with the encouraging message of keeping an eye out for your loved ones. Is there really a better way of letting a friend know you’re there for them than writing a song to say so? Through deftly touched Casio keys, this heartfelt ode incites an air of euphoria making for a delightful instrumental offering.

“Quarter Past Nine” offers a more laid back and melancholic side to Lang. “Did he hold you for hours / is he buying you flowers” speaks of heartbreak with a mature and fully fledged attitude. Fully coming to terms with loss and moving on, Lang pours his heart out through longing melodies and stretched out vocal nuances.

Closing with “Thank you”, an echoey and reverberating number holding Lang’s growth close to its heart: “I’ve changed the way I act now because/ You made me see that I could be enough”, it also acts as an evolution of attitude from “Quarter Past Nine”. From not believing everything you see on social media to learning to leave the past in the past, Lang progresses through the album ending on an introspective pondering on lessons learnt.

A wholly strong and fruitful debut album from the scuzz-pop prince, there’s no doubt we’ll see more maturity and critical creations in Lang’s future.

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