O.Children – O.Children (2010)

This band offers beautiful shallowness of a kind one can’t help admire. Listening to them is like watching models step down a catwalk, morose and glamorous. You might not care about fashion, but on a purely physical – in a theatrical sense – way, you can’t help but admire the focus they seem to project, the dedication and sense of self-importance they radiate. Of course, this has always been one of the more appealing characteristics of everything goth. The sense of skin-deep drama, the thrill of playing a part, of putting on a costume and blurring the lines between you and your character. I’ve always felt there’s this “fake it ’till you make it” desperation about goths and it’s something I personally feel drawn to, and even though O.Children isn’t a goth band “per se”, their influences show up in all the right places.

The contrast between singer Tobi O’Kandi’s deep, resonating, spectacularly sexy voice and the frozen, digital melodies the band weave is perhaps the main attraction this outfit has going for them. As I said, influences are very easily discernible, but this tension transcends all of them. What’s more, O.Children manage a very alluring mix between two apparent extremes on a thematic level. On the one hand, you have the goth quality, which induces visions and moods of night-time cities, rainy and cold, in which one might roam for hours, bumping into people as if they were objects – a particular sense of alienation and of being addicted to loneliness. And on the other hand, there’s an explosion as if every once in a while a wall of multicolored neon lights light up and everything makes sense and everyone’s connected and solitude is just irony. And none of it really matters very much in the long run, so no worries there, it’s just about recognizing how pretty a frown can be, for a little while.

If O.Children have a shortcoming it’s the lyrics. Sometimes they really feel forced, a bit grating and a bit gratuitous. However, I’m not much for lyrics in the first place and never have been, so for me it’s no big deal. And it’s not even a constant issue, some songs really have an added sense of drama and urgency which stems from the words. But, bottom line, nobody should care what a voice like O’Kandi’s sais, as long as it keeps saying it.

So, now, so close to Halloween, in this month of celebratory decay, I (broken)heartily recommend O.Children, the perfect band to try and reenact the constant costume party of adolescence. Also, I enjoy the fact that it’s the first time I get the chance to post a full-fledged video and some very good live footage!

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