Independent Artist of the Week: Nearly Oratorio
April 11th 2016
A large-scale musical work for orchestra and voices, typically a narrative on a religious theme, performed without the use of costumes, scenery, or action.
Simon Lam is Nearly Oratorio – a big, fluffy blanket of music that warms your body in the winter. Lam’s delicate vocals are genius when blended with electronic synths, creating a deeply complex musical skeleton that still has an incredibly personal level to it. It’s no surprise that his name houses the term oratorio; the layers embedded within his music are astronomical, to say the least.
Five years ago, Lam uploaded his first ever release as Nearly Oratorio, gaining traction amongst the Melbourne underground music scene. In the time between that release and his EP Tin, out this week, Lam has had plenty of time to perfect the craft of songwriting, performing, mixing, producing, and mastering – and it shows. After spending the past few years as one third of I’lls (RIP) and one half of Kllo, he’s also been quietly working with some of Melbourne’s best upcoming talents – Jaala, Good Morning, Asdasfr Bawd, Wabz, Naysayer & Gilsun, The Ocean Party, Kins and Slum Sociable. Phew.
The newest track we’ve been gifted from his solo EP is ‘Occlude’, where Lam displays a masterful control of poly-rhythms, incredible playfulness in lyricism, and sheer beauty in melody and harmony. He explains that Occlude is about “shutting everything out to improve myself and make better music”, highlighting that “on the outside it may look like I’m pushing everyone away for something bigger, but ‘it’s just me and null'”.
Nearly Oratorio orchestrates a safe haven to hide out in when times get tough. His daring melodies creates unforeseen harmony; his seamless fusion of acoustic and electronic instrumentation reflects a need to create music that evokes deep reflection. It’s haunting, yet comforting at the same time.
Tune into Up For It every Monday morning to meet your new independent artist of the week!