It’s not every day that sheer force of feeling can be conveyed in a simplistic manner. With Oil, Fredrik Kinbom has achieved just that.
The first thing to note about Oil is that it is a masterclass of minor key magnificence. throughout there is hardly a major note to be found and it has a mournful beauty that goes with it.
As such it is a down-tempo affair – but don’t think that for one second it’s chilled – it isn’t. An undercurrent of emotion is constantly bubbling away underneath, and it is found in every bent note and primal, almost ventricular, percussion.
Opening and eponymous title track Oil effectively sets the atmospheric stall from the start. The guitar playing here is vulnerable and introverted – like it doesn’t want to be heard – but with an inner strength that is found in all introverts, because they want to live and survive. Ought To Be is beautiful, with some of the most gorgeous lyrical imagery you’ll find. The coda to it is a moment that will never fail to send shivers down your spine.
As the album progresses you become engrossed with the emotions; Love and Luck will bring tears to your eyes as Kinbom’s vocals struggle to hide the feelings behind it. The percussion here is beautifully minimal, but the atmosphere it generates is awesome. As the skins of the drums vibrate they fill a void with perfect tone and duration.
Album closer Roots and Rubble features an appearance from Sarah Blasko, whose plaintive vocals add a haunting layer which contributes an ethereal feel.
Once the album has ended you feel a sense of lost and longing; it creates within one a retrospective outlook that will take its time to leave. But this is not a depressing album. It’s beautiful (I think I need to grab that thesaurus of mine out considering the number of times I’ve put that down). That really is the only way to describe Oil.
Oil by Fredrik Kinbom is out now on Captsan Records