Guest Playlist: The songs that influenced Oly Sherman’s new single “Bones”

Last week saw Sydney indie folk singer-songwriter Oly Sherman drop his captivating new single,  “Bones”. Produced by Sherman, alongside Daniel Natoli (Once Around Saturn, Georgia Eyes), the single is well positioned to capitalise on the recent resurgence of indie folk in Australia; a resurgence spearheaded by the likes of Ziggy Alberts, Matt CorbyRiley Pearce and others. 

Bright and bold, “Bones” is built around well-laid percussion, melodies and a strong and warm vocal performance. In some respects it’s still early days for Sherman, only debuting back in 2017, but he’s already making a name for himself, both through his live performances and his releases. Certainly, “Bones”, firmly places him firmly amongst that burgeoning new class of Australian folk singer-songwriters that are coming through now.

According to Sherman, “‘Bones’ to me is about the feeling that something’s coming within yourself, and you don’t know whether it’s something great or something that could break you. It’s been a big year for me emotionally, and I wanted to create something that people could just dance to. I feel like whatever headspace people are in, songs like this can make people feel stronger and happier…” With that in mind Sherman has put together for us a playlist of the songs that influenced and inspired the new single:

“Sahara” – Bears Den

This song has had probably the biggest influence on me over the last few years and was something I always went back to when thinking of “Bones”. How they entwine subtle folk harmonies and then create such drive near the end of the song always, always gets me going.

“An Ocean In Between The Waves” – The War On Drugs

A band I’ve loved for the last couple of years, this song has stuck me with. It’s got a nice early 90’s feel to it but I think the thing that helped me with my music is just the layering of guitar work. Ambience at its best.

“My Sweet Lord” – George Harrison

A classic yes, “My Sweet Lord” has been that iconic ‘driving’ song for me in the past year or so. I’ve always admired and have always tried emulating an interesting but consistent acoustic guitar sound throughout a song. Was a really big influence for “Bones” this one.

“Too Late” – The Paper Kites

Definitely not a song I or many others would assume to be associated in the writing of “Bones”, but it has been. I think what I like most about this song is the purity of his voice, and how without pushing himself, he can create such a strong push.

“Eye Opener” – Verge Collection

I’ve loved this band for such a long time now, and their music is kind is kind of a similar vibe to how I wanted “Bones” to sound. Dancy, rocky, dense gig type vibes. Just all round a fucking good time.

“Anything I Say To You Now” – Ryan Adams

A guy who knows his tone on his guitar so so well. I kind of took that ‘letting loose’ vibe within the chorus of the song and tried to implement it into “Bones”. Its loud yet doesn’t take all of the attention. A really cool thing.

“Run From The Rampage” – The Tipsy Scholars

My good boys from the Scholars definitely know how to play a folk party. Every time I’ve seen them live, their flare and absolute happiness is what gets everyone up and going. Definitely a song that helped “Bones” grow into what it has become now.

“The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” – The National

Have always admired how this band create their unique sound. Such a low controlled vocal tone, mixed with fun and ‘thrashy’ guitars is something I always find so fun to listen to.

“Pain” – The War On Drugs

Another one from the lads, I remember listening to this sound over and over again in the studio trying to emulate the chord structure towards the end of the piece. Always made the hairs on the back of my neck stand. Definitely a big influence of “Bones”

“Evangelist” – Matt Corby

I would say Matt is by far the most influential artist in terms of my work. I don’t think I’m alone in the admiration of his vocal tone and technique. I’m choosing “Evangelist” as the song that was probably the most influential towards “Bones” because of its sheer vibe. I’m not usually a sucker for a ‘Classic rock song’ per say, but I’ve never listened to the last two minutes of a song more in my life. A mixture of tempos and such a direct energy, “Evangelist” was integral to the transformation of “Bones”.

“Bones” is available now. You can catch Oly at dates across the next couple of month (see below). You can also keep up to date with Oly via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

“Bones” Tour Dates

Wed May 29th | Hotel Ravesis – Bondi
Thu June 13th | Hotel Ravesis – Bondi
Thu June 20th | UNSW Roundhouse Beergarden – Sydney
Wed June 26th | Hotel Ravesis – Bondi
Sat July 27th | Low302 – Surry Hills

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Simon Clark

Simon Clark is the Books Editor at the AU review. A reader of books and admirer of songs, Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his, and his alone. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @simonjclark