First off, in the interests of a new, humble, and wholly transparent blogosphere, big up Rob Leedham and his ever-more-humourous DiS Does Singles column for turning me onto Bristol miserablist Oliver Wilde. If I hadn’t been suitably piqued by a description of Flutter as sounding like the product of Kurt Vile forming a Doves tribute band, I wouldn’t have spent all today drifting in and out of a vague, pseudomedicated haze, Wilde’s tracks on repeat in my headphones, ignoring my colleagues and my workload.
It was one of the best workdays in recent memory.
Let’s leave the term ‘folktronica’ outside, because it’s fucking horrible. Let’s try and keep Linkous out of this too, because it’s not fair on either party. At the bottom of it all, Wilde is using a well-worn synthesis of vinyl-froth loopery and downbeat acoustics to create some of the most sweetly defeated songs I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in a long time.
Nothing’s heavy-handed here – there’s no hamfisted balladry, no jarring rash of glitch, just a gentle swing, a take on beats more akin to Koreless than any of the more obvious reference points. When those ungainly, jagged scratches of guitar start to stab like busted sirens across the end of Curve (Good Grief), and then everything falls away and the song ends as it began, those mournful, chopped up voices fading into silence, I’m not sure how to feel.