‘We want people to hear the stuff and make up their own stories because we captured a snapshot of this feeling that is available. Lyrics have to allow the music to talk on its own in-between and the music has to let the lyrics stir you, burn, lift you.’
by Jennifer Potter
The wash that is the music of London-based duo A.O.S.O.O.N. creates waves gently lapping around your ears, humming back and forth. Their music is the sound of the end of the night when things are quieter, the ripples of guitar like the swirl of the dregs at the bottom of a beer.
Having created their own genre that they call ‘gangsta folk’ and slotted snugly into it, the pair are captivating listeners from a whole range of backgrounds. Their ability to merge two starkly different vibes, which they attribute to having grown up in and fully engaged with the variety of cultures present in London, is revealed in both the sound and the lyrics of each track.
Their first EP, the self-titled A lot of Something Out of Nothing, begins with the undulating guitar of ‘Under’. It cradles you, submerges you and allows you to return fresh to the world, reassuring you that ‘when we go under / we don’t stay down / we come up’. As one of the more hopeful sounds on the EP, the lyrics ‘life is no coincidence / it’s what you make it’ echo in their perfect pronunciation long after the song has died away.
A.O.S.O.O.N. credit their creative energies to yoga and meditation, to a calm reflection that is so evident in the sway of the sound. Whilst their earlier music holds a sense of questioning and overcoming the world, more recently they have injected hope into their sound; they have filled it with the adventure, the freedom and the restlessness of youth. Their latest work seems to hold a quality of expansion and experimentation wrapped around the raw, minimal essence that sits at the heart of their expression.
It is obvious that the duo remains faithful to expressing their own unique voice at all times. This is never clearer than during a performance, where the audience are gripped, clinging to each note and absorbing every detail of the show down to the faded ink of the band’s name on the kerb of Marisa’s hand. It feels organic – each word so full of meaning, and cloaked in a soft English accent that lends itself so well to the smooth, speech-like quality of the music.
In everything the band have created, they have sought to ‘pick the words that best represented what the feeling was telling you’. What could be more pure than that?