Emerging indie band from Austin, TX Shooks are proud to share their newest single “O2”, a woozy bit of indie pop / post-punk that contrasts a smooth vocal performance from lead singer Marlon Sexton with distorted guitars that sound almost like a blaring horn section and an insidiously funky bassline from that wriggles around the track like a loose python.
“O2” is the first new offering from the band since their excellent 2021 debut single “Rum!” and the whole Pet EP that it later appeared on. This new track signifies another step forward from the already solid foundation of the band’s first releases, landing on a sound that is as unique and disorienting as it is intoxicating and seductive – combining the laid back indie pop style of acts like MGMT and Toro Y Moi with the moodiness and misshapen eccentricities of artists like King Krule or Yves Tumor.
“O2” is named after the oxygen tanks that the band had to use due to the altitude sickness that afflicted them in the Colorado cabin that Marlon and Shooks drummer Muddy originally recorded the song in, which seems to have directly influenced the almost drunken stumble of this track. Describing the recording process, Marlon writes “I remember the original part being a lot faster and more danceable but when we tried to record it, it ended up sounding like someone walking down a staircase with a broken leg… Some weird parallels with The Shining, that altitude does kinda wanna make you bust through a door with an ax.”
Directed by frequent Shooks collaborator Blake Nelson, the music video for “O2” attempts to visually mirror the mysterious and nocturnal sound of the song, with fleeting images of Will Branch playing the role of the mysterious man behind the wheel of the vintage car – a 1950’s Checker Limousine cab that Marlon describes as “a unicorn of a car”. The video, shot in one night on 8mm film, features this nameless main character portrayed by Will driving around the streets of Austin at night, lights flashing and reflecting across his sunglasses and his hands gripping the steering wheel until eventually the video becomes an abstract blur of moving lights.
Photo Courtesy: Tony Tafares