Two of our favourite bands from Oxford have been quick to shake off December’s dust and launch into action early this year with a couple of single/video releases.
Mid-January, Spring Offensive launched their first single to be taken from the upcoming album release Young Animal Hearts (out on 10 March), ‘Hengelo’. With typically skittish guitars and bristling with nervous tension, ‘Hengelo’ tells the story of Robin Van Helsum, a Dutch citizen who fled his hometown of Hengelo and arrived in Berlin claiming that his mother and father were both dead and he had been living in the woods. A story explained in the video below:
Spring Offensive have been Oxford slow-burners, playing venues across the city for a number of years, finally coming into fruition as a tight unit of performers with a back catalogue of brilliantly written songs. Expectation levels are high with the release of their debut LP, especially considering the album was fully fan funded on PledgeMusic in just 10 days. Now on a European tour with To Kill A King, it seems that the stars are beginning to align for Spring Offensive.
Another Oxford artist who never fails to delight us again and again is Salvation Bill. Released on local DIY label Bear on a Bicycle, ‘Dead Dog’ possesses the kind of black humour mixed with captivating songwriting we have come to expect from Salvation Bill. The single was released in limited edition dog food tins and partners this brilliantly disturbing/hilarious video.
Having impressed with Ute, the Grinding Young and now Salvation Bill, we hope that the man behind the music – Ollie Thomas – is content and ready to continue creating the brilliantly oddball and captivating music he is clearly capable of. We have always said that he is one of the best songwriters currently working in this city, and we aren’t going to change our minds now.
Both artists will be well known to followers of independent music in Oxford, but hopefully these two releases will show the rest of the UK exactly why this city holds them in such high esteem. How lucky Oxford is to keep on producing bands of such high quality.