Releases like this are what make me so fond of and attracted to London and its music scene. Oscar Jerome’s talents as a composer, guitarist, singer and songwriter just mesmerise me. With the help of producers Wu-Lu and Maxwell Owin, Oscar’s new 4 track EP Where Are Your Branches? sees him expanding musically from his self-titled EP (released back in 2016).
With the stunning 7-minute opener ‘Subdued,’ his somewhat husky voice is backed by dense, lush and soulful production. The project is filled with explosive drumming, gorgeous arpeggios that tingle your soul and subtle but powerful basslines with a groove to get you moving. This is especially true on “Chromatic Descendants,” which sets a vibe that keep you locked in a rhythm. “Where Are Your Branches? (Where Is Your Fruit?)” is slower in pace, and focuses more on Oscar Jerome’s sublime guitar playing, incorporating elements of tribal, Latin and contemporary jazz. “Smile on a Screen (feat. James Massiah)” is a beautiful, uplifting and upbeat closer to the project, with a passionate vocal performance from Oscar, who pours his heart out not only singing, but through his guitar as well. Poet, producer and DJ James Massiah comes through with an emotional verse at the end of the track talking about how his gran beat cancer and was a true fighter, something that has inspired him to keep pushing forward and fight for his own beliefs. Moses Boyd was also on percussion, and killed it, as usual.
Just like Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin’s 2017 Idiom EP, (Oscar Jerome featured on the title track on the project), Where Are Your Branches? EP has the similar dense and richly textured sound that again, locks you in a grooves and loses you to the power and beauty of the music itself. I really hope you guys get a chance to see him live, as he’s an excellent performer as well.
Listen to Oscar Jerome’s stellar Where Are Your Branches? EP on Soundcloud, and make sure you support this project in any way you can.