Oscar Mild are a four-piece indie folk band from Galway, who have been performing music for the last few years. The band is made up of a cast of accomplished and experienced musicians who have been working hard on the Irish music scene for a number of years. The band is comprised of Philip McMahon, the frontman and primary songwriter; Joe Padfield, lead guitarist and producer; Tomas Concannon on bass; and BIMM College in Dublin graduate Sean Wynne on drums.
After carefully cultivating their sound and stage presence at a number of festivals over recent years, they have finally taken the step of releasing the debut EP to the world. Released back in early May, The Boy Who Fell from the Sea EP is a triumphant and accomplished offering by the band and marks them out as a band that is worth paying attention to into the future.
The five track EP is extremely effective and demonstrating all the different ideas and styles that the band are capable of, with each track showing a alternative side to the group.
The EP opens with the slow and melodic single, Deciduous. The vocals across this track are suitably haunting and yet also give off a sense of safety and hopefulness. The instrumentation is layered and draws the listener in with beautiful guitar riffs and a reassuring drum line. It is a song that talks to the idea of rebirth and survival, and how we will ultimately be alright so long as we remain hopeful and resilient. The interjection of a snippet from the classic movie, Casablanca, adds a familiarity to the track and helps to provide a grounding for the listener.
The follow up track, Sit Right, isn’t quite as atmospheric as the opening song, up certain techniques are maintained. Again, the vocals are ambiatic and emotional and add weight to the themes of love and loss that are being sang about by McMahon. The acoustic guitar is again given an integral part to the song, and help to drive the emotion and the listening experience. It helps to show another gear by the band, and brings an energy to proceedings.
The third track on the EP, 80 Days, shifts the mood entirely. The instrumentation is instantly noticeably more upbeat and aggressive. The electric guitar has taken over from the acoustic as the lead and the drumming seems more frantic and assertive. This is also a song where the bass playing of Concannon starts to take centre stage and helps to add a weight to the chorus. The themes of the song also shift and we are made to think about the idea of the dreams we all have and how their success or otherwise can affect our perceptions of the world that we live in. A powerful thought that is beautifully dealt with here.
The penultimate track, Ink, is another another touching and considered demonstration of the musicianship of the band. The shift in tempo halfway through the track shows the versatility of the band, and showcase the stunning guitar playing of McMahon as the band implore the listener to think about the life that we all have and how it is crucial to enjoy it and not to waste our time here. None of this makes sense, so just make the best of it and see where it takes you.
The EP finishes with the track Wonderland, and it acts as a perfect closer for what has gone before. Wonderland is a track where the band seem to have decided to just showcase their musicianship and songwriting to the max with layered and interesting instrumentation that compliment the lyrics from McMahon. A powerful finish.
This EP is a lovely introduction to a band who it really like they are finding their feet.