Words by Alexandra Rose
With a sonic panorama incorporating rays of psychedelia, folk rock and melodic jazz, the hotly anticipated debut album by Oracle Sisters, Hydranism, is full of songs imbued with poignant prose and melodic tranquillity.
Reflecting a world temporarily suspended in time during the global health pandemic, Hydranism was composed and recorded during a period of exceptional circumstances in late 2020. Having relocated to the Greek Island of Hydra for 2 months to pen this 11 track album, the Paris-based trio’s latest release both examines and embraces the turbulent emotions of humankind set against a backdrop of global uncertainty.
The album’s live in the studio ambiance establishes an intimate atmosphere where it is easy to imagine the group performing directly in front of the listener.
The sympathetic production ensures the tracks are instantly captivating whilst also exuding a sense of calm and contemplation. This is particularly evident on Hot Summer where Chris Willat’s intimate vocal allows the listener to hear every intonation as though present in the room right beside him. The track personifies the album’s underlying sense of optimism in its hazy summer sun feel.
Having released album opener “Tramp Like You” and “RNB” as singles earlier this year, listeners will be delighted to sample a further 9 tracks dripping with cascading three part harmonies, reverberating keys and languid guitar licks which evoke classic tones of Fleetwood Mac in their overall delivery and invite favourable comparisons with contemporaries the Lemon Twigs.
“Ruby on the Run” and “Modern Love” are highlights with the former being the only track to feature Julia Johansen’s exquisite lead vocals. The spine-tingling high harmonies provide exceptional accompaniment to an eloquently composed track featuring Spanish flavoured guitar alongside an outstanding bass line bringing to mind the easy-going jazzy leanings of Aussie Psych rockers Babe Rainbow in its dextrous musicality.
Oracle Sisters consistently showcase their innate ability to convey complex thoughts and ideas through their lyrics. “Modern Love” perfectly demonstrates the effectiveness of an acoustic guitar and piano arrangement complemented by harmonic vocals which evoke a nostalgic yearning for a simpler time where feelings of isolation or loneliness were not so commonplace and impart a sense of innocence and necessity for human connection.
Hydranism ebbs and flows through a landscape of conscious reflection and subconscious truths. Elevated by catchy guitar riffs, a driving rhythm section and delicately effective vocals, the album is an upliftingly impressive debut.
Hydranism is due for release April 7th, pre-order here