[sic] Magazine

First Glances – O>L>A

Sitting pretty on their recently released second EP, DIY composers O>L>A are spinners of luxurious Avant-pop and do so out of Manchester’s many shadows. The enigmatic duo is comprised of local lads Kevan Hardman and Dean Jones and their patient four-track, Call Of The Wild, lands a couple of years after their S/T debut on the band’s own imprint Desty Records.

Keeping busy in the interim with a live rescoring of Philip Glass’s slo-mo/time-lapse classic Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack, the inventive duo blend atmospheric beats with swooping arrangement and the gentle dither of guitar, Hardman’s spectacular and wide-ranging vocal loops taking in deep registers, choral moaning, as well as operatic falsettos somewhere between Guy Garvey and Wild Beasts’ manic Hayden Thorpe.

Either side of Call Of The Wild’s nebulous and orchestral midsection stand its greatest statements. The sumptuous opener, “Kind Hearts”, introduces MIDI strings and Balearic chill to a skittering beat, a deliciously dark and exciting low-end creeping into the spacious and intelligent mix. The adventurous “Mountains Of Madness”, on the other hand, which in part brings Wildbirds & Peacedrums to mind, pairs its crumpled beat with an outdoorsy rustle and oscillating drones – ideal for the rolling multimedia of the O>L>A live-show as seen in venues as varied as the John Rylands library, the Whitworth Gallery and, most recently, at their EP launch party at Salford’s White Hotel. DIY is rarely so well-packaged.

Best track: “Kind Hearts”

~The Call Of The Wild EP is released on cassette (with download) October 24th 2015 via Ramber Records and will be available digitally soon.~