It's been a long journey for Oxbow, and their latest album, Love's Holiday, marks a significant shift in their creative direction. Some may find it more harmonious than previous releases.
Oxbow vocalist and lyricist Eugene Robinson reflects on the band's output over the past 35 years, expressing his chagrin that their songs were often misunderstood as anything but love songs. With Love's Holiday, Oxbow unveils a collection of exclusively love-themed tracks, revealing their true intentions all along. Robinson admits, "My problem is how I think about love as this affects how I feel about it, instead of the other way around."
Collaborating once again with Grammy-winning engineer and co-producer Joe Chiccarelli, known for his work with White Stripes and My Morning Jacket, Oxbow ventures into new, more inviting territories on Love's Holiday. This marks their third album working with Chiccarelli, and the band members credit their trust in him for pushing the album to uncharted musical heights.
Oxbow was initially born as a recording project when Robinson enlisted the help of Niko Wenner, a guitarist and former bandmate from Whipping Boy. Their collaboration was fueled by Robinson's diaristic examination of a tumultuous relationship entangled with infidelity, attempted murder, robbery, extortion, and sex addiction, all of which needed a musical backdrop. Wenner, with his classical training and background in punk, created a sonic foundation for Robinson's anguished vocals. With the addition of drummer Greg Davis and bassist Dan Adams, Oxbow spent the next three decades blending traditional music forms with the experimental and transgressive approaches of underground movements.
Love's Holiday marks a departure from Oxbow's typically chaotic sound, revealing a more brooding and accessible side of the band. The album showcases their harmonious side while still retaining the raw energy that has defined their sound for decades. Special guests making appearances on Love's Holiday include Roger Joseph Manning Jr of Jellyfish, Lingua Ignota, and a choir and string quartet. The first single, "1000 Hours," features Manning Jr and takes Oxbow into darker indie territory, pushing the boundaries of their rock sound.
Fans can look forward to music videos for all ten songs on the album, created by some of the most talented music video directors in the industry. Additionally, singer Eugene Robinson, is releasing a memoir, A Walk Across Dirty Water, And Straight Into Murderer's Row in conjunction with the album, offering deeper insights into Oxbow's creative journey.
With Love's Holiday, Oxbow demonstrates their evolution as artists, embracing a new sonic landscape while staying true to their distinct musical identity. This album is a testament to their enduring artistry and their commitment to pushing boundaries, even after more than three decades.