Formed a little over a year ago, electronic music duo OYLS can trace their formative moment to an Amtrak ride between Davis, CA and Berkeley, CA when David Kirshenbaum and his collaborative partner Michael started a therapeutic jam session after Michael’s breakup. After drinking a lot of scotch, tears and regrets and an all-nighter, the duo had their first single “Dots and Dashes,” which was praised in several blogs. At the time, Kirshenbaum was about to complete his studies at UC Berkeley and Michael was about to sign a contract to work in China. Instead the duo decided to focus on music full-time with Kirshenbaum dropping out of school and Michael deciding to opt out of his contract.
The blogs that have praised OYLS have compared their sound to the likes of early Daft Punk, Alt-J, and Disclosure and although some of those comparisons may well be arguable, depending on your tastes, their latest single “Undone” does bear a bit of a fair comparison to the likes of Daft Punk in the sense that it’s a sleekly futuristic; however, the duo’s sound manages to remind me a bit of Dallas, TX’s Ishi in the sense that their sound is a bit more sensual and feels like a sexual come on.
OYLS was conceived on an Amtrak train somewhere along the hour-and a half stretch between Davis and Berkeley California. David Kirshenbaum, the taller half of the OYLS duo, proudly recalls, “Michael had just suffered a break-up and so it was the perfect time to convince him to get back into music.” Some tears, several glasses of scotch, and one all-nighter later, “Dots and Dashes” was born and what started as a therapeutic jam session, soon revealed itself to be the creation of an entirely new sound. OYLS seamlessly blends the writing ethic of rock, soul and motown with a rhythmic backbone that draws from a 21st century electronic landscape. Drawing comparisons to James Blake, Alt-J, and Disclosure, OYLS finds itself at a new frontier of electronic music, and lends a melodic and lyrical vulnerability to a genre that is too often poetically terse.