Enigmatic synthwave producer Michael Oakley is blurring the lines between ‘Real Life’ and fantasy with his newly released album, Odyssey. Now, you may have already guessed that we have a favourite song from the LP but there are several others that are worth mentioning. Opening the LP, we have the title track in all of its atmospheric glory: ethereal singing: check, gradual builds that develop deep momentum: check, a small spark of joy throughout: double-check. ‘Wake Up!’ with fellow producer carries us back into the ‘80s, where a simple romance song could rule the airwaves for weeks on end.
Let’s jump forward now, to ‘Glasglow’ (named after the city Michael Oakley was born in) and features the memorable vocals of Dana Jean Phoenix. If there’s one instrument we were never expecting to hear in a synthwave track, it would be the bagpipes. And yet here we are, proven wrong once more as the two powerhouses make it work. ‘Real Life’ is just what we were hoping to find, warmly vibrant with its percussive tones and allowing an organic element to enter that’s also not usually found in synthwave. The jazzy saxophone notes meeting the Phil Colins-like vocals (almost ironically) create an escapist experience. Curious to hear what Michael Oakley himself had to say about the single? Check out our previous feature here.
Now it seems like Michael Oakley prefers to let his music speak for himself, as he posts minimally on socials. One small nugget that we were able to gleam is that the producer is also a cat lover: occasionally posting small anecdotes about the furry creatures.
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