The Student
Ed O’Brien finds his solo sound on ‘Shangri-La’

A delicious fusion of psychedelic colours and tasteful swagger, ‘Shangri-La’ is the latest offering from Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, alias EOB. The track, which showcases the sound of his debut solo album Earth, has been swiftly added as one The Guardian newspaper’s tracks of the week, who described it as Ed’s “time to shine”.

The song begins with a passage of percussive psychedelia, building layers of subtle grooves complimenting O’brien’s versatile voice as he glides in sweet falsetto before plunging into his lower range with some breezy “do-do-do-do” sequences. It’s an introduction which swells to become all the more compelling by the stomp and distortion of the chorus, to which O’Brien sings with gusto “I didn’t really know that I felt so old until I found my Shangri-La”.

Fresh, full and fun, ‘Shangri-La’ isn’t bothered with genre labels and thus follows the spirit of Earth’s preceding singles, ‘Brasil’ and ‘Santa Teresa’. EOB might be lazily compared alongside O’Brien’s work in Radiohead, but ‘Shangri-La’ is better understood as a reminder of EOB’s confidence and self-assuredness as a solo artist. As O’Brien himself asserts in the track, Ed: it’s time for you to “spread your wings and fly”.

Image: Wonker via Flickr