Review: Oso Oso – Sore Thumb

Just when you think the days of surprise album releases are over, Oso Oso comes through in the clutch to deliver to their fourth studio album called Sore Thumb. This collection of 13 cohesive songs flows brilliantly from start to finish, and features a variety of tempos, feelings, and emotions throughout the record. The band is just coming off of their most successful (both commercially and critically) album to date in 2019’s Basking in the Glow, and had a lot of positive momentum going in their favor leading up to this album cycle. However Jade Lilitri, the only permanent member of the band, experienced a heartbreaking loss around this time last year when his touring guitarist Tavish Maloney passed away tragically at the age of 24. Lilitri does his best to honor his late contributor with one of this year’s best emo records, and one of this year’s best artistic statements to date.

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Interview: Jade of Oso Oso

Oso Oso

This past week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jade of Oso Oso, before he played a supporting set at the Fillmore Silver Spring near Washington, DC. In this interview, I asked Jade about how much he follows what others say about his music, the recording process he went through during the Basking in the Glow sessions, and how he continues to find inspiration as an artist. Throughout our chat, I got a glimpse into what makes Jade such a talented songwriter, and found our conversation to be a hell of a lot of fun too.

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Review: Oso Oso – Basking in the Glow

Oso Oso Album Art

My first thought when I heard “The View” – the second track on Basking in the Glow but first in earnest, with a full band and a chorus (the latter of which will prove to be very important on this record) – was that it sounds like it’s from 2003. A pop-punk song from 2003; from a major label band, and a song that would have stuck. We’d still know all the words today.

I guess whether this is a compliment or not depends on your feelings about 00s mall punk, but I absolutely mean it as one. More importantly, it seems that Jade Lilitri – the man behind Oso Oso – would take it as one, or at least isn’t afraid of hearing it. The harmonies, the bouncy chorus, the bridge that drops into half-time, they all feel crafted with such deliberate nostalgia, reverence even, for that era of punk. That’s the common musical thread of the record, all the way through – I hear, at different times, flashes of Dashboard Confessional, Saves The Day, All-American Rejects. (These are less cool influences than the ones I’ve seen critics assign to Oso Oso in the past, like Death Cab For Cutie and Built To Spill; then again, the way that nostalgia cycles means a whole generation listening to this is probably more attracted to the former than the latter.) Perhaps oxymoronically, though, it doesn’t feel like we’ve heard it before – it’s not a copycat, and most of the time you can’t pin it down to whom exactly it sounds like. It would have been an entry in the canon of that time in its own right, and it deserves the same in its own time too.

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