Album Review: Andras & Oscar – Café Romantica

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‘Café Romantica’ was the perfect name for Andras Fox and Oscar Key Sung’s debut collaborative album. Neither are strangers to working in teams, with Oscar Key Sung’s fantastic work as Oscar + Martin, and Andras Fox’s butt-wiggling ride of Fox + Sui. Both artists have had extensive and profitable solo careers, with Andras Fox laying down multiple records that have garnered him instant fame and jealousy, and Oscar Key Sung dropping an EP earlier this year that sent the Internet alight. But when the two combine, and lose the classic collaboration ‘+’ symbol for the more sophisticated ‘&’, Andras & Oscar turn into a project with serious groove potential. Listening to this album makes you want to dance the night away with your best mates, and maybe even find that love interest that your fortune cookie assured you was going to happen.

But back to why ‘Café Romantica’ is the perfect name for Andras & Oscar’s introduction to the world. The name encapsulates the laid-back and easy-going nature of the record. It’s not trying to  break any world records, or start any arguments. It’s small-time feel good stuff for the culture guide. Oscar Key Sung’s vocals causing flames of infidelity to lick the insides of your partner is about as controversial as this album gets. Still, there’s something about the mixture of these musicians that pricks the ears, something to do with their subtly different styles. Andras Fox is eye-catchingly cultured and European, whilst Key Sung makes for more of a doe-eyed dreamboat, a young Johnny Depp to Fox’s Marion Cotillard.

But they work together exceptionally well, a chemistry blossoming the likes the musical world haven’t seen since Metallica and Lou Reed thrust themselves upon each other. For a less jokey reference, think of collaborations like Divine Fits, or Black Vanilla, where the sum of parts creates something that increases the talents of both parties. Something new is formed, something gloriously simple, and it becomes insane to think that this album wasn’t released earlier.

On “French Twist”, a beckoning finger extends through the funkiest bass lines this side of Parliament Funkadelic, but they waft along with these sappy synth works, and Key Sung’s alluring vocals. And the lightly twirling refrain of “We can talk it over” is battered down with some expert lounge sounds that wouldn’t be out of place in an opium den. The standout of “Everytime I Go” are thrusting in their bravado, but they’re bolted down with gently swaying ticks and tocks, clicks snaking along to tapping neon synths. Heartbreak sidles along with comfort in an intimate environment.

It really should be noted that whilst Oscar Key Sung provides the brilliant vocals, Andras Fox’s production cannot be understated. On standout “Looking Back”, when OKS looks on in a forlorn croon, the twinkling electronica and bass, that Fox most likely provided, turns a sobering R&B jam into something that is easily danceable, an added dimension that makes a dancefloor of a difference. The instrumentals, especially “Tutorials” also have that Fox charm surrounding them, and help introduce a little bit of plain gorgeousness.

Andras Fox and Oscar Key Sung have to be some of the most talented future exports Australia has. On their own, they’re perfectly fine specimens of Australian music. But together, they’ve created a sharp and leisurely effort that will be able to satisfy most. They help each other, build off their own sounds, and slap each other with influence and progression.At ‘Café Romantica’, Andras Fox and Oscar Key Sung are a special combination of lust, heartbreak, style and cool. It’s sophisticated pop at its best.

‘Café Romantica’ is out now on Chapter Music and Dopeness Galore. Andras & Oscar play together at Cut Copy’s curated Melbourne Music Week show, on Saturday 15th November, along with Roland Tings and NO ZU.

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New Midnight Videos: Andras & Oscar + Gold Class + Allegories

Midnight is a special time. It’s when you can begin making out to sultry beats, slinky shades of violet and green light nuzzling your romance. Or, you can be watching these awesome videos, at home, alone, like me. Whatever, these are all sensual as fuck, and gloriously sexy. Watch them all:

Andras & Oscar – Looking Back

“Feel like I’d OD, if I look for too long” is just one of the many sappy lines in this track from Andras Fox and Oscar Key Sung’s new collaborative project. However, in the hands, or rather, vocal chords, of OKS, these quotes ripped from a soap opera turn into supremely romantic beings. Andras Fox’s work behind the desk also needs to be commended, combining Italian lounge with synth flourishes. One word description? Fuckingdelightful.

Gold Class – Michael

Welp, someone’s been listening to Joy Division! These Melbourne blokes that make up Gold Class are bummed, and they’re also really good at making music / videos. One of their debut tracks “Michael” is for that midnight moment when you didn’t get what you wanted, and everything is resembling a steaming pile of shit. But there’s more than that – this one moment signifies how fucking shit your life has been up until this point, and tonight is just another in a long list of failures. But instead of penning some terrible poetry that you insist is in the vein of Edgar Allen Poe meeting Hemmingway in a street brawl, you need to chuck on this dark and wistful video, of slow-burning colours being suffocated by thriving guitars. Amazing.

Allegories – Funny Way of Loving You

Finally, there is Allegories, or Al. A Gore-Reese, depending on how obsessed you are with deconstructing words to form names of people that don’t exist (Bart Simpson, this one’s for you). Anyway, there’s not a shit tonne known about these guys, other than that they have an absolute stunner of a track that’s just become available. If you’re a fan of Shining Bird, or #1 Dads, there’s no way you can go past this. Wafting haze of guitars? Woodblock? Haunted, intimate vocals, about lost love? Check? It’s like Alt-j aren’t shit anymore!

 

New: Andras & Oscar – Everytime I Go

Holy shit, this song is better than a Tinder date where the girl looks the same as her photos. Hearing this kind of melding of styles into one gorgeous song is rarer than winning a bout of Mario Kart when you’re in last place, there’s only 30 seconds left, and you haven’t got a blue shell in sight.

Shit, this song is the pinnacle of everything that we’ve been working towards as a species. Andras Fox AND Oscar Key Sung!? Together!? Working in collaboration to create one of the greatest songs to hit our ears this year!? I mean, what’s there more to say? ‘Everytime I Go’ is a collaboration in every sense of the word, splicing Andras Fox’s glitchy techno lounge with Oscar Key Sung’s heart-melting vocals, producing a sincerely beautiful cocoon of sound. Seriously, where is the human race meant to progress to after this? The song is a glass case of majestic perfection.