Italian singer-songwriter Sebastian O combines elements of theatre and art in his music, which he writes with a unique methodology. Mr. O focuses and emphasis layering in his songwriting that leads to results that are… interesting, to say the least. While there’s no doubt he’s soulful with raw emotions and talent, his new album “In Your Room” just left me wanting something deeper in its style and presentation.
“The core of my method derives from the consciousness of the transitory essence of the self, which is nothing but a collection of living moments which shapes different subjectivities in time,” Sebastian O said in a statement. “My desire to express the true present self brought me to completely remove any post-editing of lyrics and music from my composing process. Such edits would come not as a stream of consciousness but as a second thought over the composition, which would distort the original expression of the self.”
The album opens with the song “Blue and Gold,” which has a soft tinge of grace with sweet melodies and soulful swag that feels like a combination of Nick Drake and Damien Rice.
The song “Following your eyes” has some wonder guitar work from Sebastian O with keen storytelling with a robust sound and clean production, while “Cheers” feels very much influenced by Jeff Buckley with its slow build and graceful sound that teeters on pure Rock and Roll and classic singer/songwriter fare.
The song “Colors” has an upbeat tone that feels playful and down-to-Earth with a hint of Keaton Henson and Nick Drake throughout, while “Floating” opens with a hollow guitar that’s quickly filled with Sebastian O’s gentle, yet strong, voice. The track “I live in a wardrobe” has a wonderful waltz quality to it with a fresh sound that feels like Damien Rice meets Conor Oberst.
“Irish Rain” has a slow tone to it, which I don’t mean in a bad way. It simply fills the space with a heavy and somber mood that feels jazzy, yet folk, while “I won’t move” has a good guitar “noodling” tone that fills a listener’s mind with deep emotions and raw feelings.
“I wanna be sedated” is an interesting cover of The Ramones’ classic of the same name, as it feels perfectly playful and unique. Of course, I prefer the irreverence of the original, but I applaud Sebastian O’s attempt. “Take a look at this heart” has an wakeful glide to it with hearty and soulful meaning, while the album ends with the song “Jacqueline,” which sounds as sweet as hopefully the person who inspired it is.
Overall, while I did enjoy most of “In Your Room,” I can’t help but feel I’m listening to parts of other singer/songwriters like Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake, Damien Rice, Keaton Henson, Conor Oberst, and even Fiona Apple. I just can’t tell what parts represent Sebastian O. It’s technically savvy, but doesn’t feel distinct or personal, even though the lyrics give off that feeling. I just feel slightly disappointed because Sebastian O is obviously talented, just not completely original.