Oliver Sim - 'Hideous Bastard'

8/10

After becoming the third and final member of The xx to embark on any solo material with his stunning effort 'Romance With A Memory' earlier this year, Oliver Sim quickly proved his worth as a solo artist with a flurry of enigmatic offerings over the last few months. Embarking on a diverse array of aesthetics in order to separate himself from his formative outfit, he has showcased some wonderfully inviting works and cemented quite the legacy for himself already. And after just a few months focusing on that direction, he delivers his debut solo album 'Hideous Bastard', a riveting shift from what anyone expected.

Within The xx, Sim was never short of a fresh and adventurous spirit in which to explore. His bandmates Jamie xx and Romy Madley Croft had been considered the driving force behind the project, but just a few tracks into 'Hideous Bastard' and it is clear that he has plenty of bold and fascinating ideas of his own. Throughout this first collection, Oliver Sim imprints his warm yet lucid approach to production and songwriting, creating a beautifully sweet and alluring release that feels familiar but with this consistent yearn to surprise and impress as often as possible.

Managing to master a sound that separates you from what you have been known for is no easy feat, but 'Hideous Bastard' offers up one enticing and vibrant cut after another, showcasing the artist as a true talent unto himself. Brimming with cinematic ideals and a progressive flow, it certainly feels like he is not done pursuing this new guise just yet.

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