“Carousel” is a single by Holiday Oscar, who elusively hides any personal information except his Twitter page. His artist logo is white lettering on a black background, as is the cover for this single. A few minutes of stalking gleaned the following information: Holiday Oscar is from London, Holiday Oscar is constantly referred to as “mysterious” by various English music blogs, and Holiday Oscar released a “scrummy” cover of The National’s “I Need My Girl” (W/T/G/R).
The cover is, in fact, scrummy as shit, as is his new single.
“Carousel” is immaculately played and recorded, with precise 3/4 fingerpicking backing up Holiday Oscar’s eerily high, perfectly on-pitch tenor. He’s like the singer of Passenger, if the singer of Passenger could sing.
The lyrics are modest and direct, centering around the refrain “Take it as it comes/ If you want to run home.” Holiday Oscar begs “don’t make the same stupid mistakes as I did,” and no, he’s not talking about his tense confusion (“I carry on as if you never left/ We still fought from time to time”).
Pretentious grammar critiquing aside, “Carousel” is wonderful – atmospheric, beautifully wistful, and truly original. Holiday Oscar’s deft fingerpicking and unusual, iridescent vocals make him stand out in a sea of folk artists playing similar kinds of music.
Ambient electric guitar, staccato keyboards redolent of carnival noises, and backing vocal harmony fill the song out.
Holiday Oscar sings “I call when I’m drunk/ And I make you hang up first.” I hope he does call, with a whole album, and I sure as shit am not going to hang up first.