Jade Lilitri is used to pessimism. It’s what he’s written most of his band Oso Oso’s music about. But on their new album, he’s radically committed to letting the light in, if only because Lilitri knows the darkness like the back of his hand.
Oso Oso will release their long-awaited new album, Basking In The Glow, via Triple Crown Records on August 16, 2019. Pre-orders are available now HERE.
If 2016’s beloved The Yunahon Mixtape found Lilitri leaning more into the pessimistic side of his brain, Basking In The Glow is an experiment in its glass-half-full opposite. Here, he acknowledges that there are certainly more bad days than good, but maybe for once he could actually embrace the latter instead of just anticipating its inevitable departure.
Sonically-speaking, Basking In The Glow delivers. Lilitri writes songs bigger than himself at times, with “dig (II)” leading us into the light with rainy-day riffing and hushed, staccato vocal delivery on the verse before its tense, charged chorus: “There’s this hole in my soul / So how far do you wanna go?” Lilitri asks, his voice ethereally aware that this won’t last. It’s an ambitious, complex scheme, and one that captures the spirit of the record: clutching tight to the unbridled glee of the short, sunny, major-key moments before they dissolve.
Basking In The Glow is a wrestle, and it is hard work; it is the sound of refusing to capitulate to darkness, every goddamn day. It is a practice, or perhaps a battle plan (“I see my demise, I feel it coming / I got one sick plan to save me from it,” Lilitri sings, his voice and hurried guitar crackling as if they’re coming through a bedroom tape recorder.) It is filled with the delightful, subtle melodic imagination that characterises the sound Lilitri has perfected with Oso Oso, but this time, he’s put this sound to use declaring happiness (“I got a glimpse of this feeling, I’m trying to stay in that lane,” on “impossible game”).
This “one sick plan” and its bright disposition does falter and fade. The darkness does return—it always will—but Lilitri has come to terms with it, armouring himself with the good he’s found. Even as the record ends, Lilitri is clear-eyed, leaving us squarely in the sunlight: “And in the end I think that’s fine / cause you and I had a very nice time.”