Ohtis – Curve of Earth review

Secret Meeting score: 85

by Philip Moss

Emotional connection is vital if music is to hit the spot. And Ohtis’s debut album, Curve of Earth, has it in spades, as singer, Sam Swinson, turns his heart into ink across its eight tracks.

Lead single, Runnin, is the most immediate cut here – telling the tale of Swinson’s runs in rehab for heroin addiction, and the friends and family that he’d selfishly devalued and let down. But despite the heavy subject matter, its repetitive, metaphorical chorus – ‘I, I, I will go runnin with you / running in the Georgian night / we together will be better than me’ – is sugary sweet.

Throughout the record, Swinson’s voice recalls Micah P. Hinson – no more so than on the lo-fi, acoustic based Little Sister, which grows through shimmering strings to take the song to moments of sheer, contemplative folk pop beauty. Rehab shuffles along on a bed of tinkling pianos as Swinson asks for repentance – ‘Don’t lose faith in me, Lord / Lord, I’m not that bad… If I go to rehab will you make belong?’ Diggin references his parents, and is yet another fine example of the modern-Americana that is found throughout the LPs eight tracks.

Curve of Earth is a document of the struggles through which Sam Swinson has had to face, but, through the adversity, he’s channelled his anecdotal experiences with careful passion and produced one of the most positive debut records this year.

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