BY HANNAH POWELL
Fresh off the latest release of their EP Emergency Procedures, Wellington band Oh Sweet Nothings (OSN) is ready to take the future head-on. Having started in 2012, their discography has been years in the making. With humble beginnings making it to the regional finals of Rockquest, “the band has existed in various iterations since 2012”, with members coming and going with the passing of time and changing of circumstance, according to lead singer Aeron. After an on and off period, guitarist Clarrie asked the band “let’s actually commit once a week…why can’t we do it?”
Having just celebrated the release with a gig at Valhalla in October 2019, Clarrie describes the night as “instead of just playing our songs, it felt like we were playing it as a unit”. When it comes to their music, they say it’s about subversion; creating discomfort by juxtaposing moods and subverting expectations to take the audience on a ride through each song. “We get bored with conventional formulas,” Aeron says, with their sound influenced by bands such as Queen of the Stone Age, and composition influenced by Radiohead.
Their latest single Maraca Attacker tells a story of angst. “They’re mostly Ollie’s lyrics,” Aeron says, “but at a guess, [they’re about] love and loss and angst and not getting what you want and being lonely and horny”. In a nutshell, being out on your own and making a life for yourself. Their EP, however, tells a different story. The band describes Emergency Procedures as a way to nail down what their emergency procedures are as told through music. “There’s emergency procedures for general angst, unease. For me, it’s music,” Aeron says. “I’ll listen to a song that validates the way I’m feeling and that helps me to express what is otherwise bottled up”. Clarrie laughs, describing his emergency procedure: “I open the pantry and there’s no peanut butter left and now I’ve just gotta just have bread, which is very real for that student life. I’m still feeling that – so when moments like that hit me, what do we jump to?” OSN’s drummer Cameron shrugs, looks over at Aeron and says, “Aeron once said that music is the language of emotion”.
As for their thoughts on the music scene in Wellington, Aeron feels like they are just on the fringe. Celia, OSN’s newest bassist says, “I think there’s a point where you gain momentum where everyone’s like ‘oh, that band’s playing, we’ll go to their show’, where it’s not just your friends in the audience. You’ve made it when it’s not just your mates”. As a new member, she remarks on how she loves their ‘sh**t jams’ at practice – “you have to make music that actively sounds terrible, and it’s really useful for making things that do sound interesting and not terrible later on”.
Currently, OSN is sitting on 12 tracks for the album follow up to the EP, “but you might not hear about that for a while,” they say. They released their music video out on November 8th, with their first summer tour coming to Auckland, Whanganui, Tauranga (hopefully), and Wellington. Clarrie can’t wait, saying “[we’ll] smash back some Panadol and some water, get on the road again, stop at the Maccas, and head onto the next show”.
For up and coming bands wanting to get into the scene, they advise to commit and stay patient. “It will happen,” says Aeron. To that, Clarrie replies, “if you’ve made the decision, it’s already happening”.
Like what you hear? Catch Oh Sweet Nothings EP on Spotify.
HANNAH POWELL is Tearaway’s Music Editor and your local film and theatre gal. Complete with bangs and at least one pair of Docs, she’s a festival enthusiast, green tea drinker and avid horoscope reader. Will most likely be found at the next gig.
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