As a multi-national world citizen, Oliver Sean transcends regional styles and influences. You might think he was from Key West, rather than a few hundred miles south of Mumbai, and that's the lovely point. In a time when Americans are dancing Bollywood, and Koreans are creating edgy hip-hop, a Portuguese-Goan-Brit doing original island infused folk-pop makes perfect sense.
The musician with two first names rolled out his fourth studio album, Devil in Blue Jeans. Oliver Sean serves up the breezy pop he's known for, alongside some beefier selections. Skiffle underpins Sean's writing style, much the way it does Jack Johnson, and this froth barely obscures a nervous energy. The lazy sway, and preference for acoustic guitar sometimes seems at odds with his threshold rock voice. I wish he'd crank it more, like he does in the title track. There is some fine George Thorogood-esque guitar work here, showy but fully resolved.
But Oliver Sean's comfort zone is the earnest love song and he rarely meanders beyond it. 'First Move' sums it up - he's a shy guy who writes songs to get girls… ahem, I mean to find love. But on 'Somebody' Sean is more reflective, considering the mid-life fork-in-road and whether he's done enough. "I'm gonna be somebody/ I'm gonna be a star/ I'm gonna walk all the way/ Till I reach the top". Sean has achieved considerable success as an indie artist, with his previous album "So Good" receiving an MTV EMA nomination and VH1 Top 10. Devil In Blue Jeans was in the iTunes Bestselling pre-order list… no easy feat for an indie artist.
But like many indie artists he might be wearing too many different hats (or bandannas); some artists don't reach the next level until they encounter a producer with an aggressively different point of view. Oliver Sean has the talent, the drive and the polished sound to keep listeners wanting more. His album Devil In Blue Jeans is available now on iTunes and on