Indie alt-rockers ÖZERGUN lament a shitty year with a lullaby-like flavour

Özergun The Days Before Lockdown single review by Vince Leigh

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 new record references a traditional style. There’s swaying, jangly rhythms set against a melody whose simplicity and circuitous design imbue it with a lullaby-like flavour. These lines are fittingly memorable considering the lyric.

Özergun ruminate on days gone bye


The Days Before Lockdown responds to the pandemic in a two-tiered fashion. The verses focus on the minutiae of everyday life. 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. Particularly ones 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.

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 ebb and flow.

There are some surprise chord choices after the chorus, too. These help generate a sense of apprehension, and, strangely enough, relief. This apprehension goes hand in hand with the unambiguous, plaintive yearning, providing a method of less dramatic reflection. Subsequently, it’s highly effective.

Özergun’s The Days Before Lockdown is well worth adding to your post-pandemic playlist.

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