London-based musician and singer-songwriter Oscar Jerome released his eponymous debut EP last week. After spending years grafting in the music scene and refining his talent, the young artist unveils a work consisting of four weighty tracks that are certainly a testament to that.
It’s hard to define Jerome’s sound as it’s a peculiar mixture. The influences of jazz, hip-hop and soul are clear, but it’s more aptly described as alternative. With contemplative and obscure lyrics, and arrangements that have carefully been thought out, he creates something original and mysterious that captures your attention from start to finish.
Casually, Jerome rap-sings on the up-beat opening track “Give Back What You Stole From Me,” featuring a cool, repetitive hook; whereas on the slower “2 Sides” words slip out, which, coupled with the moody tone, forges a hazy recount from what feels like a dark room in his head. When he shouts sometimes his voice becomes fiercely coarse, and throughout the EP Oscar’s delivery sits comfortably in amongst the instrumentation of electric guitar, drums, bass, saxophone, trumpet, keys – there’s even a string quartet on the last track “Evil Song”.
Produced by Jerome, Jay Sylvian, Thomas Heigl and Maxwell Owin, this EP feels like getting lost in a mystery novel. The ambient and abstract nature of his compositions is dream-like and well worth a listen. And if you’re slightly bewildered or dazed after the first listen, that’s a good thing – it means you should give it another spin.