Arts & Culture

Oliver Kennan fronting one of NYC’s most exciting soul ensembles, debut “Oh Boy,” out May 10th

Oliver Kennan – On Tour

05/09/2019: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (Record Release Show)
05/14/2019: Boston, MA @ Haymarket Lounge at City Winery
05/15/2019: Burlington, VT @ Nectar’s
05/16/2019: Syracuse, NY @ Funk N’ Waffles
05/19/2019: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
05/21/2019: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
05/24/2019: Louisville, KY @ Jimmy Can’t Dance
05/25/2019: Nashville, TN @ The Basement

“Some people have an internal monologue,” explains NYC-based bandleader, Oliver Kennan, “I have an internal jukebox and I want to show people what it sounds like.”

‘The One’ is about that state of infatuation when you just can’t get someone off your mind,”Kennan says of the latest single and music video from his upcoming debut album Oh Boy (May 10thHornblow Recordings). “It can be like a sweet kind of torture that you create but can’t escape. I think it’s a feeling that almost everyone can relate to and writing the song was like creating a place outside of myself where I could put those emotions. Writing ‘The One’ allowed me to finally take a big batch of songs that seemed so different and view all those stories through the same lens.”

Kennan explains, “This music video is actually a smaller piece of a short film that we made called‘I Hate You, Please Come Back’. The film was about the about the same breakup which the song was written about, so we ended up also cutting a studio edit. We tracked all the parts of this song to tape in one day. We really wanted to capture the specifics and the fun of the session.”

Beneath Kennan’s youthful appearance lies an old soul. The internal jukebox he speaks of is stocked with classic 45s from the golden age of soul and funk. It’s the vintage kind, where you can see the inner workings behind the glowing glass dropping your current bop into play. On Oh Boy,Kennan is spinning bits and pieces of those records into something entirely his own.

The jukebox is stocked with modern hits, too: Kennan’s stated influences range from Otis Reddingto Arcade FireDr. John to Radiohead, and Wilson Pickett to Amy WinehouseKennan’s vocals, songwriting, and guitar playing skills honor all of his heroes, classic and contemporary, but his greatest talent may be in leading his band. The ensemble is comprised of accomplished performers in their own right, and together they are one of the city’s most exciting soul ensembles.

“I want people to feel like they’re reading my journal on the dance floor at my party.” Oh Boy byOliver Kennan arrives May 10th via Hornblow Recordings.

About the author

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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