Education on Earth, the third LP by Massachusetts rock band Oldsoul, finds the band after a time of growth and self-actualization. Formed in 2015, the band cut their teeth playing in college basements and through multiple DIY tours in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southern US - releasing two EPs before signing to label home Counter Intuitive Records for their debut LP Coy in 2018. Oldsoul embarked on their biggest tour to date following the February 2020 release of their second LP, You Were Overwhelmed. The tour was abruptly cut short by the arrival of the pandemic, which like the rest of the world, threw the band into their own kind of upheaval and isolation. Multiple lineup changes over the years had left just the band's core songwriting team of Jess Hall (vocals/guitar) and Tom Stevens (guitar/backing vocals) intact to reflect, contemplate, and forge a new path forward. Writing more collaboratively than ever before, Hall and Stevens spent a year combining and developing their individual song ideas together, reworking and rerecording every moment until it was just right. The result is their most cohesive work yet, an album of songs steeped in the desire to move forward in your own direction, not following any kind of script, while fighting your own inner demons and the pull of nostalgia.
Oldsoul's music has always been characterized by intricate and inventive instrumentation, lush arrangements that demand repeated listens, and lyrics that range from the intensely personal and relatable to the poetic and opaque, leaving the listener to prescribe their own meaning. All this is accentuated by Jess Hall's emotional vocals, alternating with ease from sweet, soft, and nostalgic, to a blistering and cathartic yell, often within the same song. Teaming up once again with producer Zach Weeks, Education on Earth continues Oldsoul's sonic explorations with a diverse set of songs that take the band in new directions. Songs like lead single "Lavender Cane'' shift between the poppiest sounds and melodies the band has ever produced to the very opposite end of the spectrum, with an intensely heavy and emotional ending. Together these songs form a definitive statement on moving forward. Maybe it’s time to start.
2. Leave Them Standing
4. Lavender Cane
6. High on Yourself
7. No Reassurance
8. Designated Driver
9. Shots of Gold
10. Education on Earth
Green inside Transparent Blue /300
Credits: Produced by Zach Weeks
Cover art & photography by Adam Parshall
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