On Whet, Lucas Oswald pens personal tales in an appealing indie-rock mould. While built around carefully plucked guitar and acoustic strumming, there is a subversive quality to Whet, in part due to the distorted keyboards which bubble just beneath the surface.
The stark emo-pop sound of ‘Feel It Again’ and ‘Starving’ recall Death Cab circa the Forbidden Love EP, but Whet largely supplants acoustic strumming for atmospheric, restless indie rock. It’s not exactly sing-along material, but the snappy chorus of ‘Dark On Us’ suggests Oswald isn’t totally opposed to FM radio play.
This is an album that charts the highs and lows of transience – of being rootless, geographically, psychologically. By the time the album closes there is still no homecoming. ‘Passenger’ sees Oswald at the whim of another’s creative vision, but by the time the track, and album, close on a female laugh, it seems Lucas has reached acceptance. In life and in music we can’t always get what we wan’t – but the journey can be it’s own lesson.
The subtext is very much Oswald’s own personal struggle to find a constant in his life – during the recording of Whet he was touring with Shearwater, he moved three times, and battled his own doubts and depression. If there is a resolution at the end of this road-trip, it is that for Lucas Oswald, the music makes it all worth it. It is a message – art justifies art – that is as sweet as it is affecting, and a sentiment missing from the pop landscape.
Find Lucas Oswald here.