Top 20 Releases of 2014: No.11 – Oversleep Excuse – Slowly Better

Slowly Better

CD, Ricco Label, 2014

When I reviewed Oversleep Excuse’s Slowly Better last summer, I spent most of the review talking in a roundabout way about how diverse and difficult to define it is, and looking back on what I wrote then it’s hard for me not to read that as an admission of my failure as a writer. Writing in the heat of late July, Slowly had all the languid, shimmering, lazy charm of a slow summer day, but revisiting it on a brisk January morning, the chiming piano intro to the title track glistens like frozen dewdrops, and imbue the album from the opening chords with a crisp, wintery melancholy.Slowly Better

All of which is to say that even where I could bring myself to pin the album down, I managed to be wrong anyway, just as I’m also wrong now. The truth of Slowly Better is that it is musically rich enough that different facets reveal themselves on multiple listens and depending on what mood you approach it with. The themes that do crop up over and over again, of nostalgia and loss, are emotions that inhabit the moment in which they exist so thoroughly that they colour their surroundings in their own image, and Oversleep Excuse’s music has the power to do that in a way that turns with the seasons.Oyu no Hana

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