Boomkat Product Review:
On Man, producer to Giggs, Darq E Freaker and Mr. Hudson, a.o, wears a sore soul on his sleeve for his debut album with London’s Houndstooth
Slipping into a bracket of tender, new, soul-related styles shared by Wu Lu, Wess Seven, Rainy Miller, On Man’s self-titled debut LP is an impressively well sculpted and variegated affair, befitting from song-writing assistance by Lotti Benardout (Hælos), and his Hertfordshire neighbour, Phil Plested (Bastille), with guest vocals by rapper F-M-M-F, and singer Tailor.
Thematically, it’s a dedication to his mother, who passed away during the writing process, and understandably informs the album’s lyrics and mood, as he explains “'Memento Mori' started life as a kind of bittersweet, romantic song about coming to terms with a break-up. But, when my mum unexpectedly died, I revisited the lyrics and, although the words were the same, it now had this parallel narrative for me: How might I had felt had I known she was going to die? Would I have made more of an effort to make amends in the remaining time we had?”
Drawing from aesthetic inspirations of his mother’s record collection (vintage pop from the Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, and the Pet Shop Boys) and teenage love of alt.rockers PJ Harvey and Sonic Youth, updated with his contemporary palette of hip hop and electronica, the 10 tracks lean to a leftfield pop style, full of melody and emotive harmony, but also cinematic in scope - a return influence from his work on major film soundtracks.