Alternative rocker and indie popper, Oliver Shaw, has released visuals for the second single, “Miss Healy”, off his debut album, The Last Of The English Cowboys, which will be self-released exclusively on vinyl December 15. Last night (Friday, October 19) saw him debuting this new single and music video for said track at Nambucca, London. “Silent Movie” was performed live against the projected backdrop of its music video at same venue, September 7.
Known as The Oliver Shaw Experience when playing as a full band, Oliver Shaw creates poetic, entrancing melodies with an alternative rock and indie pop sound, eclectic but original, influenced by The Beatles, Radiohead, Syd Barrett, The Small Faces, The Doors and The Rolling Stones. Having already played over one hundred gigs this year, he’s one of a dying breed of dedicated London unsigned musicians looking to make his mark, this track a statement of intent.
“Miss Healy” is a romantic, psychedelic tale about wanting a feeling or a loving memory never to pass. It begins with climatic drums, yet despondent of subsequent guitar strum. “Please don’t, don’t you ever change,” sounding maybe contentment yet comfort in melancholy. Furthermore, there’s a touching question, one displaying much vulnerability in when he asks, “When you’re up, please don’t feel down/And if I sing this song forever, would you still want me around?”
This question maybe smacking of desperation, maybe that happy melancholy has finally given way to paranoia and insecurity. The closing moments pair back the instrumentation for a brief vocal refrain, quite a tool to deploy as it adds extra emphasis to Oliver’s voice and the words he’s dying to be heard. Maybe if the person in question could hear what he had to say then maybe memories could transfer to new ones. A small window of opportunity to tell her he loves her.
The visuals are all filmed on VHS camera by director, Alex Aromós, and stars Alicia Carpenter. Stylist is Mia Williams. It opens with Oliver on the grass in a fetal position, eyes closed with a smile as brimming as the hat on his very head. Basking in the recent memory of glowing love? When the song proper begins after those climatic drums a kaleidoscope effect begins, making for a trippy, psychedelic experience replete with flowers and old VHS nostalgia.
The narrative seems to be like a handheld VHS camcorder documenting actually quite a happy relationship. The look on the her face’s more akin to that of mutually besotted than could otherwise be implied. He’s not stalking her or mulling over a good thing gone bad. In fact the whole thing is quite romantic, with Oliver seemingly serenading this girl with his acoustic guitar as she exits a house worthy of a balcony scene in Romeo And Juliet. Star-crossed lovers? No.
The song seems to, somehow, convey both requited love and yet a longing verging on melancholy and desperation. There’s no doubt there’s a very loving vibe to the whole thing in general. The earnest vocals, abandon of despondent strum. Unless you know Oliver’s intentions in writing the song from the start, you might have contradictory ideas about the track spilling forth. However, is the joy not in music that someone can interpret songs differently as from intended?