London is the place to be for the dopest music right now. No doubt about it. Okay, maybe we’ll expand that to the greater UK area. But, regardless of the specifics, something bonkers is going down across the pond (this coming from the perspective of an American, for reference).
The latest reason to give the Crown the crown? Oscar Jerome’s “Misty Head / Sunny Street.”
Before you say it, before you even think it, before it starts to bubble up in your brain and work its way to your lips, stop. Yes, the dude kind of, sort of, maybe, sounds a bit like Tom Misch. Sure, there are some similarities. But if that’s all you’ve gotten from the above track, kindly close your laptop or lock your phone and walk away from this website forever.
For those of you still here, check it: What makes Jerome different (and what makes “Misty Head / Sunny Street” such a jam) is his restraint. There’s a significant hip-hop influence here. In fact, the first 20 seconds could pass for a Kaytranada intro any day. But it doesn’t feel forced. Even when Jerome finally saunters on in, he’s calm. There’s no rushing — no running near the pool. The dude doesn’t dive in trying to woo you with funky licks or an enticing brass section. He hardly even reveals his subject matter for the first minute. Instead, he leaves it like a trail of puzzle pieces, forcing the listener to waltz along with him while you pick up the scraps and realize what he’s built.
But just because the guy shows restraint, doesn’t mean things don’t get hyped. As the song progresses, the tune gets more and more “big band” until it hits a crescendo and finally drifts away like a beat tape outro. It's Jerome's delivery that makes him so unique and exciting to discover. While this style of mixing soul, jazz, and hip-hop isn't new, there is still plenty to uncover and perfect within the subgenre. On "Misty Head / Sunny Street," Oscar Jerome steps into a crowded scene and immediately demands attention.
Here’s hoping Jerome has a lot more up his sleeve for us in 2019.