‘Premonition’ is the first taste of Oscar Key Sung’s new EP, Altruism, which is due out in April. Much has already been said about the essentials: the beats are sublime, the vocals are amazing (Oscar has the best pure R’N’B delivery in all of Australia), and the vibe is relaxed yet hypnotic. It’s easy to get distracted by this top layer sheen, but what has captured me personally was what was hidden underneath.
This song speaks of frustration, desperation, hollowness – its lyrical content is grim and stark, no love, no real loss either, just aggravating stagnancy. Oscar’s croon might not seem much like a plea or expression of frustration at first listen, but his lyrics tell a tale that is in direct contrast to his fluid sonics. ‘Premonition’ is a prediction, a countdown with one eye on the fuse. It talks about an inescapable situation – in love or in life, it doesn’t matter. Choice lyrical fragments talk about wanting to break free but not knowing how, needing something different, something special. Oscar sings about what will happen if the change never arrives – the deepening depression, the inability to depend on anyone else and the slow weakening of resolve all leading to self-destruction.
‘Premonition’ is putting the blues back into rhythm and blues with a masterful display of disconnected vibes. The song is endlessly listenable but no one seems to have caught on to the underlying feel of the tune. Oscar Key Sung is getting better with each track – I hope Altruism is as complex a collection of thoughts and processes as ‘Premonition’ is.