Oxtered to the Bothy is without a doubt one of the most fascinating and quite frankly daunting musical projects that has been put together in recent years. Formed just over a year ago this six-piece band came together from a variety of different backgrounds with just one thing in mind; creating a bold new fusion of sound that focussed on Scottish themed music but amalgamated it with a wide variety of other musical styles. Tipping their hat to rock, funk, folk, jazz and more they have created a musical hurricane with absolutely no limits. By melding together so many different genres of music they have truly created their own style of music altogether.
Their debut self-titled album which came out this month opens up with the song Vad Ska mi Med en Till? which is a brief and friendly opening that could only be described as classical in format. A tender lullaby medley of piano opens the album in a way that could be mistaken as the likes of Andrea Bocelli. Starting out soft the album then immediately launches into Sleep Shite. Now Sleep Shite is a binary opposite to its predecessor, instead it is a violent and tumultuous tune that veers more wildly than a drunk driver; beginning with a vibrant fiddle tune that’s steeped in Scottish heritage and then it goes hurtling through folk rock, into a sharp jazz piano tune and back again. It’s the perfect example of what you can come to expect from the rest of the album as you hear jazz piano alongside rich Scottish piping, fiddles and rock guitar. They bring forth a total frenzy of sound but in one of the most chaotically organised and stunning set of compositions we have heard.
Opting primarily to utilise vocal free tracks to bring their messages to life they have created a hailstorm of music but in this album of charismatic and undefinable sounds there are songs that can be found like islands between the crashing waves. Songs such as A Durness Welcome which features the vocals of Allie Anderson are soothing, calm and collected tunes that are overlaid with poetry and prose as opposed to lyrics. Soft Scottish vocals soothe you as they wash over you while songs like Omm surprise you as it starts off in a similar manner before launching into a quick-fire Scottish rap about the world we see around us. With less than half of the tracks lacking vocals these songs become deeply resonant and evocative and leave you with distinct impressions about the band, theu thoughts, their feelings, their fears.
Oxtered to the Bothy are without a doubt the most charismatic, experimental and enchanting bands that are on the circuit today. They have blended together elements of such a vast cross-section of music and done so in such a stunning and seemingly natural way that there is a part of you that questions whether or not the genres were ever really separate to begin with. If you’re looking for an album that will surprise you at every twist and turn then you’re find that this is the album to invest in.
Please check out the video: Oxtered to the Bothy – Bollocks and Bellydancers featuring Robyn Ada McKay
For more info please visit: http://www.oxteredtothebothy.com
To buy their fantastic new album please visit: https://oxteredtothebothy.bandcamp.com/album/oxtered-to-the-bothy
Review by Joe Knipe