This is Oliver Mavilio’s debut single, and I started writing this review on my seventh intentional listen.
Hailing from Norwich, Oliver’s sound has been beautifully summed up by himself as a bridge over the massive gap between Johnny Cash and Nick Cave. Inspired by vintage western cinema, we can easily trace the rockabilly influences in the beats and guitar work, while Nick Cave’s somber croons are also a distinct influence. Distant Sound is a song about loneliness, and it’s a dark sound. A sizable electric guitar starts the song with a bluesy riff along with the piano and the skeletal strummed chords in a truly memorable moment. The mix is solid and all instruments beautifully ring out through the tapestry. Mavilio’s voice is deep and distinctive and as he sings the detrimental “Only death calls me now” it’s very hard to not imagine the prince of darkness himself saying those words with that same heartfelt and pained delivery. I particularly enjoyed the backing vocal section in the lengthy coda, I thought it was very fitting and the part was sung with an infectious melody, as well as the steady, marching shuffle beat, unrelenting and in my humble opinion, contributes to the oppressive darkness of the general vibe.
As a debut single, this song is wonderfully thought out and put together. The instrumentals, the voice, the mix, they all carry their own weight and are oozing with character and color. Dark, depressing, but endlessly beautiful, and more often than we might be willing to declare, this combination can resonate with us more than any other.