Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh! Bringing art and music home since 2009

Things happen where you make it happen. To anyone who has ever thought 'my town is boring' or 'this place isn't big enough for cool things to happen' OH! is proof that this is not true.
Open House Arts Collective (Oh!) "is a group of musicians, artists, and art enthusiasts based out of London Ontario Canada, working together to motivate, support, and inspire the London arts community and to promote the community's endeavours within the larger Canadian arts scene." Their mission is to promote "the London art community through music and art events. Oh! shares ideas and creates partnerships with the London community to raise awareness of local culture".
Recently Oh! participated in the Indie Media Fair held at the London Public Library. This also launched the Oh! Compilation One album.
The album has 12 tracks from 12 different artists (well, some overlap between acts), and since I procured this album from Grooves on Monday (for the too low price of $5.99), it has not left my ears. Well, ok that's not true, I bought Dark Was The Night at the same time, so I've been alternating. On first listen I was astonished. Astonished that this whole production came out of London, astonished because of how quickly this has all happened, and astonished because of how good all the music is.
Time for an anecdote: I was sitting in my living room with Andrew (roommate), playing every other track from Dark Was the Night (basically 31 songs from the most well known indie artists of our time), and every other track from Oh! 1, and during an Oh! song he asked "still dark was the night"? Every track is so well done, who knew all this talent existed in London?
Back to the music. There's a great range of styles on the album, folk, indie-rock, to more electronic music. Here's a little about some of my favourite tracks (sorry too hard to profile them all! Maybe later):
Sidewalks is by A horse and His Boy, a five piece band, it's layered with lots of different sounds and textures mainly by synth and vocals, with drums and guitar added. For some reason to me it's like what would happen if Wolf Parade and MGMT got together.

Tidal Wave is by The Whipping Wind. I actually... can't find anything about this band, but it's one of my favourite tracks. Maybe it's the horns, strings, the bells, the ukulele (or is it banjo?) and hand-clapping bridge, or the way the voices blend so beautifully together. It's a really well constructed song, with great lyrics.

The Decline is by Olenka and the autumn lovers, it's very melodic, the vocals blend really well together and has a great build up filled with horns. It's a really interesting and catchy song. Olenka and the Autumn lovers also put on a great show, they played at LOLA last year, go see them if you're lucky enough to be in an area where they're playing sometime. They also won CHRW album of the year.

There are so many more great tracks on this album, I wish I had time to profile them all (this has already taken me an hour and a half) but I urge to to check out the Oh! myspace to hear some of this incredible work. They truly are proof that you don't have to be signed, or even well known to make incredible music for people to hear (The album was also reviewed in London Free Press). It's really impressive, and if you like what you hear, support it! Without support things like this would never happen. Watch out for big things in the future from Oh! It's just a matter of time before you'll be hearing about them everywhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment