I have the pleasure of reviewing an artist that sounds like a blend of some of my favourites over the years like Oasis, the Verve and Blur. Tim Cox’ nom de plume is of the poetic Bosola, a nod probably to his ability to craft intricate and melancholy lyric. His latest music project sounds just as melancholy, entitled ‘How Sick I Became, Running From Myself’ is still the best of the britpop / 90s alternative style. A four-track EP spanning an entire journey of finding oneself across a terrifyingly alien social landscape in about fourteen minutes, How Sick I Became, Running From Myself is a phenomenally well-rounded EP experience and a very different style albeit similar theme from his last EP, Socially Distant.
The EP dabbles in the realisation of self, a gradual and turbulent process in which one is constantly having a series of first-time experiences, so they are raw and intense and you have no frame of reference to contextualise them. It traverses confusion, betrayal, resentment and sorrow only to come out the other end to know oneself, and to accept oneself as a product of their experiences. Accepting oneself can only come with confronting one’s problems headfirst, and many of the experiences captured within the album are now petty in hindsight as a result (hence the title); so the album also feels like a didactic catharsis packaged in pretty indie britpop. I think its rather gorgeous how much of a young man’s emotional rites of passage this EP goes through, and is a testament of Bosola’s ability to record his feelings at pivotal formative points in his life.
The opening track This Time Buddy, It’s All On You embodies that betrayal I mentioned earlier, a fervent sense of justified anger. Having an interpersonal relationship collapse under its weight, the track builds gravitas through its intricately layered arpeggios and jangly guitar playing. If the album was representative of a young man’s journey, it only makes sense to start it here: angry and righteous. Following is Soil and Dust, my favourite track on the album but only by a little bit. It tones down the visceral nature of the intensity instead to craft a hopeful melody full of upliftment and excitement about the uncertainty that comes with new relationships. Peppy and upbeat, it captures the feeling of not knowing what exactly a relationship is and where its headed and a mental haze inspired by that optimism. The Social Moth is also up there, a track about an anarchist who pushes the boundaries of social existence – experimenting with doing what he pleases and going from enjoying the freedom to feeling alienated as a result of his actions. I love the vibe it has, dejected and lost yet comfortable as if in a haze. The last track is also about the haziness of perception, with the passing of a family member infecting everyone with unalienable grief. It is a battle of coping with a world in which someone who has greatly influenced your perspective is no longer there to do so. It is sad and painful, yet there is still an embodiment of self that the artist is able to carry through the album.
Bosola describes his style as ‘If you mix Sixties guitar pop song writing, late 80s/ early 90s alt. rock style and melancholy lyricism you’ll pretty much have the bones of the Bosola sound.’ He’s a talented instrumentalist and the production on the EP is also just impeccable, a collaboration with Producer James Haselhurst of the Grain Studio.
When I listen to Bosola, I hear a man who finds catharsis in his music and genuinely infuses his heart and soul into creating that music. His language of acoustic strumming and sweet passionate vocals remain constant through his exploration of life and its little emotional crevices. The EP is a culmination of four different styles, four different moods across its four tracks, yet emerges as a fantastic curation of trying to piece together an ideal self from all the vivid turning points that make us us. Do check out the fantastic How Sick I Became, Running From Myself down below
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