Oliver James | Chasing The Sun

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Country: Americana Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Chasing The Sun

by Oliver James

Oliver James offers songs of longing, searching, and seeking. These are songs from the heart, songs aching to not only be heard, but to be felt.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Giving Chase to the Sun
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3:48 $0.99
2. Running Back to You
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4:28 $0.99
3. Pain
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5:20 $0.99
4. Keep Breathing
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4:38 $0.99
5. Lovers Bridge
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3:48 $0.99
6. At the Water's Edge
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3:31 $0.99
7. Before He Turned the Gun On Himself
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6:30 $0.99
8. Avenue of the Stars
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4:03 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“I want to write songs that touch people and come from a real place,” says singer-songwriter Oliver James. His powerful debut, Chasing The Sun (Wire & Wood Recordings LTD), is an emotionally rich journey with exquisite songcraft, painful realities, and an epically cinematic production aesthetic.

“I called it Chasing The Sun because you simply can never catch the sun, and if you could, you’d melt. So the metaphor represents hopes, dreams, decisions and ramifications,” he says.

Prior to issuing his well-crafted 8-song debut, Oliver tested the waters by releasing the beautifully haunting ballad “Keep Breathing.” The song is a deeply moving tribute to the men and women in the armed services. It is a boldfaced plea for those who place themselves in harm’s way to come home to their loved ones – alive. “Keep Breathing” quickly earned 10,000 radio spins and critical acclaim. Mossip.livejournal.com said: “Keep Breathing’ is the first single from Oliver’s upcoming album, and in short, it is the perfect power ballad.” Yousingiwrite.com praised: “’Keep Breathing’ is complete of emotions. Somber yet hopeful, inspiring and tragic, the music ascends at the most opportune moment and grabs the listener’s undivided attention. With the wishful notion that all soldiers come home alive, a universal concept that many would agree on, James’ debut release is sure to leave a mark.”

Chasing The Sun is boldly sincere with a production aesthetic that is both elegantly restrained and sweepingly grand. Each tune is addressed individually and produced in a way that’s authentic but also tastefully theatrical. The gorgeously somber “Before He Turned The Gun On Himself” has an elegiac 15-piece orchestra and David Letterman’s Late Night Gospel Choir soul-saving backup vocals. The goose bump-inducing pop-rock of “Running Back To You” is lean and muscular, tailored to Oliver’s pristinely urgent vocals with full-bodied guitars and a driving rhythm section.

Oliver is a courageous writer with a lyric touch that’s eloquent and bluntly poignant. On “Before He Turned The Gun Himself” he sings: “Going through life while going through hell/He wore it in pain and he wore it well/Walking on fire he said no farewells/Was dead long before he turned the gun on himself.” He explains: “That’s a heavy subject matter, my folks were like, ‘You want to talk?’ But it was sort of a John Lennon thing, like reading the headlines for inspiration. I had the line and just proceeded to write. It was very difficult, and gut wrenching.”

Behind the scenes, Oliver works in a full partnership with keyboardist/songwriter Brett Levine. The two share in lyric and music writing, fluidly completing songs with egoless devotion to quality pop songcraft. “It’s like a chess game, I make a move on a song, go away, and come back to see what move he made,” Oliver describes. The duo also produced the album themselves, and were uncompromising in quality and emotional intent, crafting a meticulous multi-dimensional album that keeps surprising after multiple listens.

There is a real artistic purity to Oliver James’ Chasing The Sun, and it’s no surprise he cites the album’s creation as his career highlight. “The creative process has been great. We really spent the time to properly document each song,” Oliver says. The album was tracked at the Magic Shop in NYC (Coldplay, Norah Jones), mixed by two-time Grammy winner Trina Shoemaker (Iggy Pop, Queens Of The Stone Age), and mastered by Greg Calbi (Bob Dylan, Nick Cave). “We attended the mastering session. It was just amazing hearing the music on Calbi’s system. We were pinching ourselves watching his right foot tap to the music!”


Reviews


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Andrew T

Oliver James Pumps Me Up
I've been listening to this album on my way to work for a while now and every time it gets me so motivated! Some of the songs on this album make me feel like my life is a movie. Oliver James is such a great composer and songwriter. His music is so epic!

Matthew Forss

You'll want to listen over & Over
New York-based, Oliver James, writes creative songs steeped in Americana with a bit of intellectual and alternative musical leanings. There are some pop inflections with musical influences from Iggy Pop, R.E.M., All American Rejects, U2, and others. The music is very unique and it touches on several interrelated genres of progressive, alternative, jazz, rock, folk, pop, and classic rock. The symphonic string constructions and epic rock solos are interspersed with instances of poetic songwriting and melodic instrumental arrangements. "Lovers Bridge" is a powerhouse jazz/rock song with obvious Springsteen-esque qualities. "Before He Turned The Gun On Himself" opens with a rather somber tone on guitar and strings. The earthy vocals are moving and followed by an angelic and operatic vocal tone near the end of the song. The anthemic song opens up into a magical medley of instruments and vocals that are not negative overall. "Avenue Of The Stars" begins with a graceful guitar tune and airy vocals. There is a country or folk element highlighted by the sliding drone of the lap guitar. Overall, Oliver James knows how to chase the sun and the dream of making music that people want to hear...over and over again.