OFFICER drops a unique and sensational piece of songwriting on us with his new single ‘Heavening’ (Out now) from his upcoming new album ‘Night Tennis’ (Out 28th February 2020)
My journey with this new OFFICER single, Heavening (Watch Our Bottles) as I’ve listened has been pretty incredible in its captivating vulnerability and beauty, it is a truly unique song. DC Logan’s voice in this is nothing short of utterly overwhelming in it’s fragile grace and beauty. To hear the song once is to be caught out, taken aback, but then when you play it back is when the splendour of it really sweeps you up as the chorus collapses, breaks and floats – ‘I’ll burn my heart right up to the roof like the dead poets do, cos all my crimes are just fro you / I’ll tear my heart right through it’s own floor and pour you some more, watch our bottles dance the water’ – It feels like its being given to you from a traumatised yet hopeful heart that’s already run out of anything more to give a while back in the journey.
Listening and helplessly listening again on repeat to this song has been one of those experiences for me that you so rarely get with a song, where the more you listen to it the more you find of both yourself and the artist within it. The more you find the more dismantled you are by it, and ultimately the more you are moved and opened up until you find yourself in a kind stunned place by what it’s doing to your heart.
I can say straight away that it’s a masterpiece both in terms of a piece of songwriting both lyrically and melodically and in terms of it’s sheer restraint and sublime architecture. It reminds me of similar experiences I had with the intimacy of mid-career R.E.M. records, or when U2 surprised the world with the confessional soundscapes of Achtung Baby, or the first time I heard the broken vulnerability of Damien Rice’s debut album, ‘O’.
It’s a song of paradoxes. It sinks down into you to those deeper places where you feel loved in your lostness, strong in your weakness, connected in your fractured loneliness. It sounds so full and so empty all at the exact same time, much like the human experience can so often feel. I have really appreciated being sent this song and feel that sense of thankfulness that I have it to come back to. It holds so much of the power of the best music – honest, beautiful, heartbreaking, glorious, life-affirming, you name it.
Follow up albums to strong debuts are meant to be impossibly tough to write but with this being the second disarmingly strong single from this new upcoming sophomore album from OFFICER I am now waiting with bated breath for my first (second, third, fiftieth) listen to the entire record. It feel like he’s potentially created something that is entirely his own not just in terms of it’s sound and lyrically intimate originality, but also in it’s ability to be your companion to help you sojourn in those places you maybe fear to tread.
This album is one to really look out for, coming from a place you wouldn’t necessarily expect – an unsigned artist with very little resources beyond a very small cult following of very passionate and supportive fans to whom his music clearly matters a great deal.
All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop and you can follow him on Twitter as @hiapop, and on Facebook here.