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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Beautiful Second" - Oliver Pinder

If there was ever case for the existence of maximalist ballads, I'd submit Oliver Pinder's excellent, latest single as an unofficial flagbearer. The aptly titled, "Beautiful Second," is anchored by the hallmarks of contemporary balladry: sparse piano chords, bittersweetly romantic lyricism, and killer vocals, all soaked in reverb. But it's the pacing and little production flourishes that elevate the single beyond that. Focus in and you'll notice how spatially located the percussion feels, how light waves of distortion sound like a disconnected phone call, or how the corners of the portrait seem to burn and singe into ash as Pinder's voice quivers with passion. It's like staring into someone's eyes for too long, then blinking away the after image.

"Do I really want to know if something's coming out of it?" Pinder asks in the song's most striking moment. Much of the lyricism feels inexplicably connected by some unspoken, connective context: sparse detailing of dates, questions with more questions, and heartbreak meeting new beginnings. Interestingly, "Beautiful Second" begins at its lowest point, emotionally. "An emotional wreck and I'm stuck in the midst of it all. Was I to know what you're wanting from me really?" The song drills into this space between where you hope things go and where they're fated to. In the end, the most comfort Pinder is able to extract from the whirlwind is its beauty while it lasts.

Uk-based singer/songwriter, Oliver Pinder, is gearing up for a big year. Prior to now, he released the single "Stressed" in October. The singer has previously released a 4-track EP, titled "Island Rain," in 2015. Pinder just announced his debut headline tour in the UK, with dates featured on his website. All this supports the upcoming release of his upcoming EP. Pinder describes writing "Beautiful Second" three years ago on an old, out of tune piano he'd bought for 50 quid. His upcoming EP is primarily described to be about "growing up, dealing with stress, anxiety, falling in and out of love."

Written By Andy Mockbee

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