A genuine ode to the softer sides of the early 90s indie pop scene, could have been cherished by either coasts back then.
Positive Noise, the debut album by Sam O.B, is not a ‘journey of a record’, but it’s also not Party Time USA. It’s nuance: cloud patterns: like good progressive jazz. Like the refinement of refinement, the elegance of elegance. Sound propelled by its own smoothness. A coolness that isn’t cold. The earnestness of an old friend. Expanse. Experimentation. Actual warmth.
Sam O.B. is (and has always been) a man of classics. When you hear the sax on ‘Salt Water,’ you will understand this ambition with precision. Arpeggiated horn delay and female oohs fall like geodesic rain. The blasting synth leads on ‘Midnight Blue’ and ‘Nearness’ waver and find their way (“Always on time”). The sing-and-play harmonies of ‘Sirens’ refer to the stunning bliss of smooth jazz, which has been in Sam’s arsenal of interests for longer than anyone can remember.
“The story of “See” is metamorphic. The track emerged instrumentally — as per Tycho’s characteristic output — on the 2014 LP Awake. Months later it was remixed into a bubbling pop song by New York duo Beacon. 2017 brought the next phase, as Beacon’s Thomas Mullarney III joined Tycho at Coachella to perform “See” (the first time the band has ever featured a vocalist). Now “See” has reached its final stage, re-recorded as a proper collaboration. Tycho touchstones abound, swirling melodies, stuttering percussion, lifted by a voice in flight.”