- Jennifer Janz
Özergun - The Days Before Lockdown
Özergun is an Australian indie alt-rock band whose members include Sam Chesher Ozergun (guitar, vocals), Harrison Kolevich (drums), Louis Cameron (lead guitar), Jerome Sutton (bass) and Zain Wittmann (keyboard).
Typically exploring a variety of rock, funk, jazz, folk, and world music genres, the band’s more structured studio recordings often transform into improvised solo sections and extended jam sessions.
The band’s previous releases include Chasing Smoke (2020) and several singles. The Days Before Lockdown is a folk-infused rock song featuring a lyric, despite its intimate nature, we might all relate to, a lyric that responds to the pandemic in a two-tiered way.
The verses focus on the minutiae of everyday life while the chorus pulls away from the small and takes a snapshot of a bigger picture, with the lines, ‘Well it’s been a shitty year / in the Southern Hemisphere / will we ever stop living in fear?’ emphasising our collective unease and trepidation. Despite the lyric’s specific point of view the new song depicts some undoubtedly familiar emotions experienced by Victorians living through the most prolonged lockdown in the world.
The Days Before Lockdown sees the band develop their hybrid alt-folk style, not only incorporating a fertile subject for exploration but employing a blend of organic sonic textures and assured performances to create a committed, persuasive record.
‘‘ The Days Before Lockdown sees the band develop their hybrid alt-folk style, not only incorporating a fertile subject for exploration but employing a blend of organic sonic textures and assured performances to create a committed, persuasive record.
Sam Chesher Ozergun’s performance is understated throughout; this approach works in light of the lyric’s semi-mournful ruminations.
Strengthening the melody is an array of well-modulated accompaniments, including suitably decorous piano lines, controlled dynamics from the rhythm section and an intuitive adherence to the song’s engine, with some surprise chord choices after the chorus, which help generate a sense of apprehension.
This apprehension goes hand in hand with the unambiguous, plaintive yearning, providing a method of less dramatic reflection, and subsequently highly effective.
LISTEN TO ÖZERGUN HERE: