With its Peter Green-esque, early Fleetwood Mac flavored guitar vibes, cool languid melody, tippy mellotron and the gorgeous lead and harmony vocals of Tommy Oberon, “American Avenue” – the lead single from Nashville based Oberon Rose’s latest album Holographic Blues – works on a purely musical level as a beautiful, epic bit of escapist nostalgia.
But on a deeper level, though Oberon says it’s not a political song, it speaks to our present moment of trying to sift through warp speed information to discern what’s really real and just plain surreal. Finding a unique way to remind us to not lose touch with our true spirit even as the noise engulfs our senses, Oberon sings: “It’s not what you know/It’s what you know that ain’t so.”
Another track that seems designed to help us survive these perilous times is the infectious, jangling and lushly harmonic pop rocker “Upside Down World,” which urges us in its unique, 60’s esque way to somehow not lose touch with the human experience despite all the present. Those songs are ideal intros into the fascnating, multi-influence songwriting aesthetic of Oberon and Rebecca Rose. The duo’s sense of eclectic grooves, bright melodies and harmonic vocal flair zips easily through a multitude of musical realms, from dreamy psychedelic pop to pop-blues and harder rock.
Rose’s dramatic, insightful lyrics, clearly tapping into her theater background, are chock full of fascinating Biblical imagery – from the funky, swinging opening jam “Sinner” to the punchy, fiery “Demoniac” and assorted references throughout to “Ancient of Days,” “lion lays down with the lamb” and mentions of praying for rain, angels, and on the beautiful and cautiously optimistic piano-driven closer “A New Song,” a hopeful “look up to heaven” where the promise of that new song may soon be sung.
True to its compelling title, Holographic Blues finds Oberon Rose taking a hard look at our crazy whirlwind of a world, wonders briefly if it’s an illusion, and just in case it’s not, offering a few cups of cheer and hope for the road.