Oslow are a post-punk outfit you may have seen gracing the stages of the outer suburbs of Sydney.
The band is a group of long-running friends who came together at the start of this decade to make music. Now, after a series of smaller EP and LP releases, Oslow have released their self-titled debut studio album.
“I know when we were first starting out as a band we were writing a lot of songs and a lot of them were terrible,” says guitarist Jacob Rossi. “I think when you start out you just need to be playing together as much as possible. We just took as many gigs as we could and kept jamming and writing as much as we could.”
The album took almost two years to complete, with the gestation process interrupted by an intensive year of touring. According to Rossi, many songs were abandoned during their early stages.
“By the time we went into the studio we had most of the songs written,” he says. “Some of the songs we’ve been playing for a year and a half. But then, the lead single ‘Cold Dark Space’ was the second-last song we wrote on the album. It just came about when we were jamming one day. A few songs were like that. They came together very quickly when we were together.”
Oslow once again worked with producer Dylan Adams for the album, following his contributions to their 2015 seven-inch, No Longer Concerns Me. Adams also worked with Rossi and frontman Dylan Farrugia on their side project, Sweater Season.
“We’ve had really great experiences with him and he seems to understand the band, so we wanted to do the album with him,” says Rossi. “He can be hands-on but he knows when to let us do our thing as well. He’s not afraid to give ideas but he knows where his place is. He was a good person on the outside to listen to the songs. Sometimes you need someone to do that.”
Adams’ approach to the recording involved much more layering of tracks than on Oslow’s previous efforts. Rossi says it was the band’s ambition to create a more polished work – the balancing act between creating a finely crafted product and staying true to Oslow’s raw, garage band origins has been difficult, but they’re happy with the end result. The album is out through Resist Records, a mainstay in the Sydney hardcore scene.
“Graham [Nixon, Resist Records co-founder] has always been around. He’s been at shows and he’s given us a lot of good international supports and gigs. He’s always been someone we’ve looked up to in the Sydney music scene. Ever since we were kids going to hardcore shows as teens, Resist Records has been our favourite label. When we were writing the album he said he was interested, so we sent him a few songs. Resist was always our first choice if we weren’t going to get it ourselves.”
The album’s release is accompanied by a clip for ‘Cold Dark Place’ – an unusually mundane video set in a suburban Sydney house. Rossi says the simple setting had a very practical origin.
“That’s Sean [Hampstead, guitar]’s house. He and his wife Meg live there. We started jamming there last year and we really liked the place. It felt like a good place to do the video. Jamming there isn’t so much about getting a good sound, just practising the songs. We’ll go to a good rehearsal place when we’re working on getting the set sounding as best we can, but mostly we just get together to play the album songs to keep them fresh.”