album: Basking in the Glow - oso oso
words: indigo baloch
Oso Oso’s tender basking in the glow opens with a gentle intro that lulls and encourages you to sit and stay awhile. This is a heartbreak album, it’s an album of grieving and then acceptance. This is not an album to chew in pieces. It’s meant to be savored in one sitting, to be fully devoured as a whole—at least upon first listen. So set up shop and get comfortable while we glide through this record. Lay your head in someone’s lap, or a soft patch of moss. Breathe easy, watch the clouds roll by, and tune in.
A quick change of pace, “the view” picks us up with a kick and jump—a careless backflip off of a diving board, a cannonball, flipping off strangers you zip past from the passenger seat. With lines like “All I need is four walls to make it my own hell / Hell yeah, so what? / Watch an optimist drink half-empty cups / Well I'll grow, we'll see / If there's something good in me”, it challenges us to accept what we’re given and move forward. Just shrug your shoulders and keep going.
“basking in the glow”, the title track, is a perfect bop to find us right before the end of summer. It’s a song for pool parties, nights with your crew on your porch, cackling over a couple of beers. It’ll make you want to do cartwheels and handstands trying to impress your crushes, falling but not caring—getting the emerald green of the grass stained on your clothes, a souvenir of warmer days for when the air gets colder.
Next up, “dig”, will have you nodding your head to the beat in a matter of seconds. The smooth, swinging invitation of lines like “There's this hole in my soul / So how far do you wanna go?” will have you leaning into this song like open arms. Like most of the tracks on this album, it carries the weight of being knocked down incessantly by the universe, just trying to get back on your feet and do what you can with the path you’ve been given—to turn a landfill into a rose garden. To hope someone sees your mess, but still loves you for it.
“one sick plan” is a lot like checking your phone at 3 a.m. after a party to find a voicemail from an old friend or an ex. You lay down in your bed, press play, and the song begins—an admittance of regrets and desires. You feel yourself sinking into the mattress with the weight of it all. You call back just to get static and dial tone. You leave one in return, and the song keeps living on.
And then “a morning song” is back with another sharp, gut punch of raw lyrics: “Living on my knees / Praying my sins crash into me / And now back up on my feet / I was so lost and alone / I was so far out and it shows”. It’s the sound of biking away from your worries, legs pumping, heart racing—trying to find some joy elsewhere; feeling the sun on your back like a warm, encouraging push onward.
It’s a tough call, but “priority change” is probably tied with “the view” for my favorite track. It builds quickly and maintains a steady beat that will have you bobbing your head along. And the break in the last minute of the song sends goosebumps up and down my arms every time, it fills me with so many emotions and memories all at once. Just hearing the line “All you can do is pray we both want the same thing”, feels like the floor going out from under you.
“wake up next to god” is a fast paced zinger I could see as the backtrack of an early 2000s teen movie montage scene. They’re running through the mall, they’re hanging out the windows of their car, they’re breaking into the pool at midnight, they’re trying on sunglasses and silk scarves and mood rings at a busy little shop. Play it on repeat and the dance never ends.
“impossible game” is a smooth, fluid song that will make all your limbs feel loose and calm. It’s another track that encompasses feelings of youth, nostalgia, the pain of accepting your mistakes, and realizing you just have to keep on living even when things aren’t going your way.
Another favorite of mine, “charlie” is probably the darkest track on the album for a variety of reasons—lyrically, sonically. There’s too many songs it reminds me of to count, but I say that with affection. I feel it deep in my chest when I hear it. It beats against my ribs and grabs at my throat. There’s an overpowering longing about it and the break at the end leaves the album on a strong, emotional note—making it hard to let go. It’s like trying to hang up the phone on someone you love. And that’s exactly how I’ve been on this loop, with it playing on repeat ever since the release.