Challenging childhood on a council estate outside Swindon (UK), saw him immerse himself in music, books and poetry as a means of escape.



“As a kid, I thought no one in the world felt like me. Then I discovered Nick Drake, Daniel Johnston, Conor Oberst and Kurt Cobain. Hearing Sparklehorse was a revelation. Their music expressed exactly how I felt. It was a hugely liberating experience because suddenly I wasn’t alone.”

“I was this loser emo kid, sitting in my room, trying to come to terms with all the negativity in my life. As self-therapy, I made these little songs about how I felt. Writing them was a cathartic release. Rather than carry this heavy subject matter around in my head, which made me depressed, I turned it in to music. I took the cliche´s of pop – the structure, the form, the earworm hooks, the emphasis on rhythm – and made them ugly in order to address wider demons. The idea that anyone would hear it was appalling. Those really were my diary entries. They were so personal and humiliating. I felt incredibly exposed.” But by accident, one of Oliver’s early songs was discovered by Adrian Dutt, his co-worker at a Bristol record store and co-owner of Howling Owl Records.

“You’re So Kool-Aid, for example, has a catchy tune, a beat and a bass synth. It’s funky, but it’s about suicide.”

From the album Post-Frenz Container Buzz

LP on Howling Owl Records (UK). Digital


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