Oh, Weatherly "Make You Bright" EP Review
Words by Rachel Roundtree
Genre: Pop/Alternative Pop
Starts with: Make You Bright
Favorite Tracks: Make You Bright, Six Feet
Oh, Weatherly just made the switch from record company We Are Triumphant to Hopeless Records, and their second EP Make You Bright is proof that this change will suit them well. Although Make You Bright was a bit of a surprise in its release, but this new EP is a clear reflection of their jubilance and another step forward in establishing themselves as a band.
This Dallas, Texas quintet includes Blake Roses (vocalist), Dallas Matthews (lead guitarist), Beau Harris (bassist), Angel Bedoy (rhythm guitarist), and Jackson Bailey (drummer). It’s not publicly known how Oh, Weatherly got its name, but it is assumed the band represents the tumultuous emotions that are poured into each song and how quickly these emotions can darken like a thunderstorm or clear away like sun shining through the clouds over the course of listening to this EP.
The use of sunflowers is prominent in the band’s social media, photos, and the EP cover itself with a brightly colored sunflower that matches the band’s name and album name text. The sunflower is set against a dark night sky background and a white outline of hands with tiny flowers imprinted on the hands. In this cover, “Make You Bright” shows a juxtaposition of brightness and darkness in nature, and it alludes to the possibility for someone to give something enough light/energy/emotion to cause something to blossom and flourish in a shadowy environment.
Their second EP has five tracks that aren’t overtly connected but could represent a teaser to an upcoming album:
When I’m Feeling Down
Make You Bright
Say You’re My Friend
One For Me
In listening to this EP, Oh, Weatherly’s musical influences are apparent in their vocal style and instrumentation. In an interview with My Broken Vinyl, the vocalist Blake Roses cites Mayday Parade as an influence, and one can hear some of the similarities in their vocal ranges and tone of voice even though there is a clear difference in writing style. The band also cites Pierce the Veil and All Time Low as inspirations which is somewhat heard in the driving drum beats and pop/rock guitar melodies, but it stays true to alternative pop without veering into hardcore/rock.
The first single and EP title track “Make You Bright” is a good starting point for the listener, even though it is listed as the second track, and is both a dour and uplifting track. The vibrant, upbeat music video visualizes the lines “Sunshine and daisies/She paints me in candy/with colors that we won’t remember her” and “I’ll take your dark and make you bright” to escape a looming sense of darkness by seeking out happiness. Both ‘Say You’re My Friend’ and ‘Six Feet’ also play with the polarity of darkness and light by communicating the vacuity of someone that’s insincere. ‘Say You’re My Friend’ speaks to the theme of wanting to find light in darkness by calling out a disingenuous person, and personal favorite ‘Six Feet’ directly addresses betrayal in the literal darkness of being buried six feet underground as well as the hollowness of being lost/found: “Lost my breath and I don't wanna find it”.
Some of these songs seem to be a continuation of or a direct response to songs on their debut EP “Long Nights and Heavy Hearts”. This begins with the introductory song ‘When I’m Feeling Down’ and how it could be connected to ‘Lost and Found’, which is also the introductory song from “Long Nights and Heavy Hearts”: (Lost and Found) Do I have to watch you fade/Do I have to chase the clouds/To pull you right back down/To pull you right back down/Do I have to (When I’m Feeling Down) While you pulled me down/I fell to the bottom of the sea/And you weren't there to catch me
While ‘Lost and Found’ laments the struggle of losing someone that one doesn’t want to let go of, ‘When I’m Feeling Down’ reflects on someone leaving another in their time of need. The comparison of “to pull you right back down” and “While you pulled me down” in a state of loneliness directly plays with willful dereliction and the push/pull aspect of a relationship with another person. The lines “I hope you can find yourself” and the final lyric “I won’t be found” in ‘When I’m Feeling Down’ further cement the connection to “Lost and Found” by directly referencing the title and insisting that the narrator has not had closure in attempting to “find” himself.
There is also a parallel between the closing song ‘One for Me’ on “Make You Bright” and the closing song ‘One for the Rose’ on “Long Nights and Heavy Hearts”. ‘One for the Rose’ focuses on the disconnect in a relationship and realizing the need to let go: “Between the sorries and goodbyes...Hope you’ll find/Find what’ll make you stay another day”. ‘One for Me’ flips the script to wanting to be chosen and depending on another person to not give up on the relationship: “She said she’s sorry that she let me go” and “Sorry doesn’t help me grow...Only ghosts could tear us apart”. Both songs also reference the continuous theme of being lost/found in ‘One for the Rose’ stating “I lost the game before it started” to convey feeling helpless, and ‘One for Me’ stating “I found another part of me” and “I’m lost so take it slow” in cautiously “finding” an identity and learning more about oneself in another person. Although the band has not yet done a Spotify commentary for this EP like they did for the last one, hopefully with time they will be able to do so and fully delve into the many dark/light and lost/found references as well as muse on the perils of attempting to define oneself through relationships and love.
In Oh, Weatherly’s second release, this stormy EP has emotional lyrics, a clear tone, and catchy riffs that show the highs and lows of life and love. Through working with the same producers as All Time Low and Mayday Parade, Oh, Weatherly should fit right into Hopeless’ roster and would be well suited as an opener for labelmate acts like Neck Deep, All Time Low, The Wonder Years, ROAM, etc. for future tours. If Oh, Weatherly continue to play to their strengths, the murmurs of them hopping on next year’s Warped tour will only be the start of their career.