I’ve been closely following Oh Minnows ever since I got my paws on their debut Might EP a couple of years ago, but Chris Steele-Nicholson is now back with his first full length LP out now on the ever wonderful Young & Lost Club.
The album opens with the upbeat Another Volunteer that pulsates with optimism, a theme of the album, as you lay down your head down and ponder the sanguine expectations of life. A Performance is where the album begins to stand out, however, with Steele-Nicholson spending the first minute slowly hand crafting a soundscape before tumbling into the sleepy dream sequence that eventually envelops in blissful appreciation. The synth bends on Trade follow this, awkwardly dragging up the tempo and taking the sound a little darker. It brings touches of industrial urgency and desperation to an otherwise mellow album – a different more brutal emotional honesty.
Every Day is my favourite from the album and is formed of those rare charms of tender simplicity. A post-break-up song with the dawning of that moment when the future has again become fearful and a “blinding light” and the wish for one more warm embrace, one more night of comfort before resetting your course.
It’s an album that takes Oh Minnows away from the synth-draped pop ballad of Might into more subtle territories. Lovingly crafted song structures remain, but the album gives Steele-Nicholson enough time to tell a full story, to fill your mind with an optimistic narrative that softly beckons you from each song.