Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we’ve been listening to the debut solo single from Norwich’s (UK) Oliver Mavilio. Distant Sound is a Western-Cinema-inspired track which is out today (31 October 2022).
The song comes immediately in with a full band sound, reminiscent of an old Johnny Cash song. With surf-style guitar and distant Hammond, the song is powered along by a train-style drum rhythm.
Vocally reminding us a little of Joy Division or Nick Cave, Oliver’s vocals are distant sounding – matching the title of the song. Distant Sound feels a little like it could be an extra track on Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads album, with an eerie and uncomfortable feel to it, it is a perfect release for Halloween!
Distant Sound is a song of heartbreak and loneliness. A sad song that feels dark and mysterious. It has a certain swagger to it that effectively conjures up the American Frontier. Quite a feat for an artist from Norwich, UK!
We like the use of subtle single notes as incidental interest between the vocal lines and the thumpy kick drum and driving snare push the song forward at all times.
Perhaps a track which would sit well in the background of a movie, Distant Sound has a definite dystopian feel to it.
From a production perspective, we felt that a few EQ adjustments would make a difference to the track. Small cuts at around 350Hz, 1100z and 2kHz would reduce some boxy, honky and harsh tones respectively in various instruments. A fairly large boost in the top two octaves would add a great deal of brightness, particularly in the snare wires and the vocals. The thump in the kick drum is coming through perfectly and hits you in the chest on every beat! Finally, a light compressor/limiter with around 3dB of make-up gain would bring the overall volume up slightly.
A haunting cross-over of Johnny Cash meets Nick Cave in a little dive bar in the mid-west, Distant Sound is a dark Americana track from new artist, Oliver Mavilio. We’re looking forward to hearing what comes next!