“Weight Of The Water” is the opening track of “I Feel Nothing Most Days”, the new album by Oliver Cherer, out April 26th via Second Language.
Croydon-born, Hastings-based Oliver Cherer is perhaps one of our most prolific, contemporary singer-songwriters and yet despite this, he’s always been careful to exist just below the radar, much aided by a variety of nom-de-plumes, Gilroy Mere, Dollboy, The Assistant, Australian Testing Labs, etc. ‘I Feel Nothing Most Days’ is his third album under his real name proper – his first, the folk-noir, ‘Sir Ollife Leigh & Other Ghosts’ (also Second Language), came out in 2014; ‘The Myth Of Violet Meek’ on Wayside & Woodland in 2017.
But ‘I Feel Nothing These Days,’ turns back the clock much, much further – Ollie began to write most of the songs on this album (on a Yamaha 4 track cassette recorder) back in 1983; only now completing them.
Ollie : “I started recording things using my Fender guitar, a Casio calculator keyboard and various borrowed drum machines. Years later one of the cassettes turned up in a box in my attic. It had been recorded at double speed over all four tracks so when played back on a standard cassette machine it was at half speed and two of the four tracks played in reverse. Modern computer technology allowed me to make the required corrections and then the “fixed” recordings hung around another couple of years without any plan.”
This lapse in decades may go some way to explaining why ‘I Feel Nothing Most Days’ perhaps evokes the spirit of early 80’s independent labels like Cherry Red or Les Disques Du Crespuscle, who specialised in a very European melancholic romanticism. There are echoes of Ben Watt’s debut solo album, ‘North Marine Drive’ and his EP collaboration with Robert Wyatt, ‘Summer Into Winter.’ There’s also an undeniable nod to early Durutti Column – accentuated by Ollie’s use of a Fender guitar on the album previously owned by Vini Reilly himself (used most notably on Morrissey’s debut solo album, ‘Viva Hate’).
There’s a faded seaside town introspection to many of the songs here; of the shadowy halls of Victorian guest houses that’ve seen much better days; of lone figures on windswept sea fronts staring out to passing ships on the horizon.