Fronted by Ryan Trauley, the Raleigh, NC-based quintet Oulipo have been praised across the blogosphere for a lush and complex pop sound that manages to be both intimate and anthemic. Of course, that shouldn’t be terribly surprising as their debut full-length effort, Kisses to the Sky draws from the influence of Talk Talk, Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen and Bruce Hornsby, among others – although interestingly enough, those influences aren’t necessarily obvious when you hear the North Carolina-based band’s work, as their sound is comprised of shimmering keyboards and synths, a tight and muscular rhythm section and angular stabs of reverb-y guitar paired with Trauley’s yearning croon as you’ll hear on Kisses latest single “Blue Flames.” 

What makes “Blue Flames” so interesting to me is that it underneath the slick, disco-friendly sound, the track possesses an urgent and plaintive vulnerability and aching need that’s irresistible.