A late-night post-punk success, “Manipulator” is the latest track from London-based artist Oliver Marson. Hypnotic guitar jangles resonate alongside Marson’s suave vocal presence, remarking “we’re sleepwalking with the loonies at the wheel.” The lyrical sentiments exude a sense of helplessness amidst times of crisis, feeling like an idle witness. The title-referencing vocal expression — “manipulator, there’s nothing left,” — snarls with a captivating, somber tone fit for the convincing post-punk production. As the vocals briefly exit, a gliding guitar sequence past the two-minute turn highlights the effort’s darkly atmospheric power.
Recorded with Joshua Rumble (Black Country New Road, Clockworks) and mixed by Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Kirin J Callinan), “Manipulator” succeeds with immersive production that highlights Marson’s brooding post-punk aesthetic and melodic songwriting.
More on the track/video’s themes, below:
“The lyrics were very much inspired by what has been going on during the pandemic with Boris and Brexit. The first line of the song and overarching message addresses this ‘we’re sleepwalking with the loonies at the wheel’ – we’re basically heading into a crisis. The video tries to get this across through Marson playing a dodgy Wall Street banker who is literally laughing manically throughout the video. Influences include American Psycho, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.”
Photo Credit: Chantal Marson
This track and others featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of April 2022’ Spotify playlist.