Analogue Music | The Oh Hellos - "Torches" (Single)
Notos (EP)

Notos (EP)

Artist: The Oh Hellos · Written by A.O. Westley

Date Released

8 December, 2017


20 minutes

First things first, I was caught completely off guard by this release.

But what better way to set the mood for a sunny Saturday morning than to be surprised by a brand new single from The Oh Hellos. One that not only comes as a refreshing addition to my Spotify playlists (and will probably be all I listen to for the next week), but harkens towards brighter days that include more music from them. The two-year drought of new content had me hungry for more, whether I was aware of it or not (which obviously I wasn’t since I hadn’t even been adequately keeping up with them to know that this came out about a week ago). However, my lack of awareness is inconsequential when it comes to hearing this new track's greatness and what this means for the four(!) EPs planned for their future.

In classic TOH fashion, “Torches” starts off with a light acoustic riff setting the pace for a surprisingly fast song. The lyrics hit hard and quick; interesting considering they come from Maggie, soft yet dynamic and serpentine in nature. Subsequently, the first verse leaves behind a strange feeling of conviction, employing rhetoric that touches on ignorance and indiscriminate hate. The Heaths have already described their upcoming project as an effort to figure out the origin of their ideas, however this first single appears to be a fairly straightforward jab at nationalistic tendencies seen in today’s social climate. 

And Father Ignorance will make brothers of us all
As he sets our torch aflame

Pushing forward with a familiar drive, “Torches” is reminiscent of the style pervading their sophomore album Dear Wormwood. Post-instrumental break, Tyler takes over with what sounds like a desperate attempt at confronting his terror-laced paranoia, the subject of which seems to be identified later, referencing “the effigies we immolate” as something that, at the moment, replaces our true selves and isolates us from each other. Unity is the goal, with pleas to Mother Fortuna for a revolution based on truth and accountability.

I got a terror I can’t shake pushing down on my lungs,
It’s got me lying there awake with a hand on a gun
While turning shadows into shape

The song is over before you know it, leaving the listener dissatisfied in the best possible way and wanting more. What is satisfying is knowing that TOH is paving the path for what I think is going to be an amazing collection of EPs to look forward to.