Ahead of his highly anticipated debut album dropping next month, London-based Oliver Marson released new single “Flowers of Evil” last week, further proof of why critics like Anthony Fantano have been enjoying his “weirdo pop” music.
Not long ago, Oliver’s life was much different. At one point, he was battling some serious health issues that even left him in hospitalised, with music not anywhere on the horizon. Now, a major milestone, his debut album Why Did I Choose This?, is just one month away, something he’s been steadily building up to since his first release back in 2019, “Cocaine Romance”.
“Flowers of Evil” will feature on his debut collection, and the introspective track feels like an excerpt straight out of the ’80s, with its heavy guitar and drum presence and Bowie-esque brooding vocals.
Marson manages to deftly blend nostalgic rhythms with modern lyrics about the malaise of late capitalism. “It’s a song that comes from the heart about getting older and running out of time. It’s about wanting a change, but being stuck in the same loop. About desiring an escape, but coming back to the same centre”, the musician explains.
“One of the things that I held onto was that when I got out of hospital I was going to make a lot of music. I think I felt that if I died then what a waste my life would have been. If anything, for me this period of writing wasn’t about receiving accolades, it was about the journey and the process of becoming something or someone else” he adds.
Marson’s full album will follow similar threads to his latest single; “ludicrous music for ludicrous times,” as he describes the general atmosphere of Why Did I Choose This?.
“I think the album takes you on a journey of escapism, but comes back to the fact we are sort of stuck in the reality we are in,” he says. “It’s both a dream and a nightmare. It’s about the confusion in our lives, the joy, the terror of it all. It’s tasteless, glamorous, sexy, confusing, vulgar, fun and, well, it’s pop music!”
There’s a reason that Marson sounds so reminiscent of contemporaries like Kirin J Callinan and Alex Cameron – when much modern music can be a soporific affair, who doesn’t relish a bit of “sexy, confusing… fun” pop?