When the band members of Irish indie-pop outfit O Emperor became friends in their school days, they initially bonded over a love of music without an affection toward any particular genre. Years later, this universalist approach to music extended into their own work. The quintet all played together in different indie rock groups before forming O Emperor in 2009. The 2010 debut album, Hither Thither, bounced between garage rock howling and dreamy balladry.
Committed to cultivating their sound on their own terms, O Emperor built a studio called Big Skin HQ. The space gave them the freedom to experiment on their second album, Vitreous. In 2014 they hunkered down again in the studio, tinkering with synthesizers and guitars to write their latest release, Lizard EP, out November 6th via Trout Records.
True to form, the record is hard to define by one genre descriptor. Tracks like “Switchblade” revel in big drums and swirling psych-guitar lead lines, while opener “The Sky Is Your Oyster” is blissed out with reverb and synthesizer plunking. Closer “Trash Club” exists somewhere in the chaotic middle, mixing Beach Boys harmonies with thunderous and snapping drums with whimsical harpsichord flourishes. These four tracks act as a great introduction to a band defined by their willingness to follow their whim.
Stream the album in full below.