Oliver Tree? More Like Sydney Disagrees
Like some sort of nefarious freak, I pride myself on listening to music that is either slightly obscure or that my peers have never heard of. I never learned to play an instrument or sing or keep time or anything musical, and so to compensate for that, I’ve developed a music taste that I consider to be relatively unique. However, a wise woman recently brought to my attention that my music taste is so sophisticated that it comes off as pretentious. She was not wrong, like at all. And because of that, I asked my fellow Round Table contributors to give me something that I’ve never listened to before. The one, the only Jimmy suggested Oliver Tree, and I honestly had no clue who he was until I delved deeper into his Wikipedia AND Spotify pages.
So who even is Oliver Tree? He’s a twenty-something internet personality who resides in California. Believe it or not, before adopting this persona he puts on, he was in a ska band called Irony. After Irony, he performed with hip-hop group MindFuck, DJ’d occasionally under the pseudonym “Tree,” then stopped for a while to attend Cal Arts. Fast forward to 2017, and he’s signed to Atlantic Records, my personal least favorite major record label.
I’ll be honest, I liked my life a lot more before I found out about Oliver Tree because I can’t stop thinking about how it seems like every other month, some goofy white guy who’s so ugly that it makes him cute goes out to buy a guitar and then they somehow make it big. There’s a reason why these types of characters make it big: they have more charm than talent. Indie music listeners got bored with the likes Mac Demarco, and rightfully so, so they moved onto Oliver Tree; a near carbon copy of Demarco with significantly less artistic merit.
I’m not one to care much about lyrical content. I’m sitting, writing this article while listening to Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday that contains songs like “Hits from the Bong,” and “I Wanna Get High.” so it’s not that. although it’s the slightest drop of emotion, i do feel like tree puts at least some effort into his lyrics, but at times it gets hard to take it seriously with lines like “Maybe it was me who was fucking up” or “I fell down to earth from a hundred miles away, and somehow I still make it work, but it’s overrated and somehow played out,” it’s so hard to take him seriously because he is trying so hard to be deep and philosophical that it just feels so artificial. I’m no expert on Descartes or Plato, so lyrics like this are more cringe worthy than impressive to me.
As for the sonic aspect of his music, it sounds a lot like emo rap, a genre created not too long ago popularized by figures who are now mostly dead. Pardon me for sounding like a boomer, but to me, emo rap has always been a joke funneled right into the spotlight somehow to glorify use of really dangerous drugs. Emo music was a genre that died in the early 2000s and whoever tried to revive it through rap music is responsible for Oliver Tree and because of that, they should be sued.