Where would you place Glasgow’s self-confessed reclusive songwriter Edwin Organ on a musical map?
Personally, at the convergence of Jens Lekman, Sparks, summer breeze pop, disco, absurdity and heart-on-sleeve soiled romance. There you’ll find Organ and his new single “Gabriel”.
“Gabriel” is the first woozy dream of a track to be released ahead of three (yes, three) EPs in 2019. As Edwin Organ reaches his mid-twenties, the former semi-professional dancer - you can hear a dancer’s languid flexibility in Organ’s relaxed, tropical music - is musing on men and masculinity.
“I found myself looking back on this collection of songs and realising they were all centered around the strange interactions I’ve had in male dominated environments,” says Organ, noting his own weirdness and the pressure society puts on men to be “manly”.
He continues: “Looking inward isn’t something I’ve had to do before, and I certainly liked to brush off the serious shit with humour, but after a tumultuous few years for me personally, I took the opportunity to dive into what I was neglecting.”
This might sound a little heavy but Edwin Organ brings a little levity to a weighty topic through lightness of musical touch. He’s far from a beige boy, our Edwin, and so through bossa nova rhythms, off-kilter piano, squelching synth noises and wonkily crooning vocals he addresses the question of masculinity in his own weird and unique way.
“I personally feel like the discourse around the uncertainty of the male role in modern society, the breadwinner conundrum et al asks a question which does not need answered,” posits Organ. “Men should ask themselves, what do you like doing? Men have a tendency to be mean to one another because that’s what they do. Fear of ridicule can make a man embarrassed to follow a fulfilling life. If you like something, you should go and enjoy it. Do you like going to the gym? That’s cool. Painting model figurines? Also cool. Grooming dogs? Absolutely fine. Just be kinder, be considerate. You don’t need to do much more than that. It will pay dividends.”
With influences varying from Hiro Murai to Kahil Joseph to Tim and Eric (who without a doubt he shares a sense of humour) it’s not easy to compare Edwin Organ to another musician but you could file him alongside fellow absurdist LA Priest and Fascinator. Like them, Organ is keen to focus on his strong aesthetic, and stay well clear of being that beige boy.
“Gabriel” finds Edwin Organ wondering what it would be like to live in another city, where he doesn’t know anyone else. “For me that would mean I would probably never go outside or make any friends,” he reveals, hinting at that self-confessed reclusiveness. “I put that down to the statistic that people start losing friends from the age of 25 onwards. Since I’ve hit that quarter century milestone it puts into perspective that I should probably start being more of a sociable person.”
It’s something that’s a hot topic in 2019 and Edwin Organ’s gently weird analysis gets quickly and beautifully to the heart of it all.
“Gabriel” is out now!