A soulful quarantine groove, Jelly Oshen’s buoyant and brooding “Bordalonely” dwells in the depths of pandemic-related isolation.
for fans of Ruel, Lauv, Cautious Clay, Tate McRae
Stream: “Bordalonely” – Jelly Oshen
I was bored in lockdown and kinda lonely, my mum was imposing her own self-isolation on us, above and beyond any government rules, and this track sprung from that.
Whether it was for a few days, a week, a month, or a year, we all experienced isolation and quarantine at some point over the past two very long years. We’ve learned what it’s like to feel physically cut off from the people and places we love; to feel helpless, agitated, and alone; and we’ve learned to accept, or at least live with, a little bit of stir craziness. Jelly Oshen’s buoyant and brooding new single stems from his own experiences with pandemic-related isolation: A soulful quarantine groove, “Bordalonely” dwells in the depths of boredom and loneliness as the budding Australian artist gives us a reason to shake off the fatigue and dance our hearts out.
Hey, what should I do today?
I don’t have much on my plate
But I still think that I should find
Something to preoccupy
My mind from lonely nights
And I’m stuck here just asking why
I’m bad at being alone
I don’t mind to stay on the phone
Just as long as I see your face
I don’t know how to embrace
Unless we are on the same page
Space and time, worlds collide
But now I’m…
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Bordalonely,” Jelly Oshen’s first single of 2022. Active throughout the past three years, the 21-year-old Australian multi-instrumentalist and bedroom-pop artist has made a name for himself through seven (and now eight) singles full of chill R&B vibes, radiant indie pop warmth, and uncompromising heart-on-sleeve honesty. Akin to artists like Rex Orange County, Ruel, or Frank Ocean, Jelly Oshen (pronounced “ocean”) shines as much in his darkest hours as he does in his brightest moments – and it is this emotional and sonic fortitude that makes his artistry as accessible as it is compelling.
Even as he laments (and explores) being “bored or lonely” in his latest single, Oshen keeps his audience close – opening up to us with a comforting intimacy as he works on himself in real time. For most of us, this kind of unimpeachable isolation was new; we hadn’t had a reason to stay locked down up until this point in our lives, and so everything about that overarching solitude felt new and (arguably) overwhelming. This was certainly the case for Oshen, who between sung and rapped verses unveils a restless spirit and a racing mind. “Not physical, it’s pitiful, I’m on probation, no concentration or inspiration,” he despairs. “Not cynical, just not so lyrical right now…“
I’m hittin’ the sack I’m kicking it back
Not physical, it’s pitiful
I’m on probation, no concentration or inspiration
Just not so lyrical right now
I’m in my mindset
Don’t think I’m high yet, but I get
Taking a recess
Picking the pieces
Of life up again my friend
I hope that we meet again
Oh goodness gracious me
I’m wondering if I am
“Most of my music is recorded at home with Stephen Maxwell,” Oshen tells Atwood Magazine. “My writing process is just making a poem and then creating a good music genre melody to fit, or vice versa. The process for recording is usually I’ll have the song written and finished with just a guitar and drum beat in mind and take it to Stephen Maxwell to record the words and melody and once the foundation has been made, he adds the piano, bass and all sorts of other instruments and I just kinda stand there and try make sure the song’s going in the right direction ’til it’s finished.”
“I was bored in lockdown and kinda lonely,” he says of the song itself. “My mum was imposing her own self-isolation on us, above and beyond any government rules, and this track sprung from that.”
Along with his new single, Oshen has also released an accompanying music video directed by Phillip McFarlane and shot on location in Jamaica. Featuring an unnamed actress, the video brings isolation and solitude to life once more by depicting a day’s worth of quarantine activities: Yoga, reading, Twitter doom-scrolling, guitar playing, etc. All the while, we can feel the actress’ boredom and loneliness seeping into everything she does; there’s a longing and yearning about her that, no matter what happens, she just can’t shake.
All told, though “Bordalonely” may come from a place of tension and inertia, the music itself puts a groove in our shoes and a pep back in our step: Oshen compels us to get up and dance along to his brooding moment of solitude, and suddenly we don’t feel so alone after all.
Stream “Bordalonely” exclusively on Atwood Magazine.
I can’t go back to sleep
And now I need to go eat
And I can’t forsake and I can’t concrete
Or go down a path
Cause I’m too lazy
Stream: “Bordalonely” – Jelly Oshen
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📸 © Bridie J Egan
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