Reviewed by Imogen Cresswell
Release date 23/10/2020
“It’s not a world that’s meant for me”
Soloist Olly E’s new single Beyond This Reality is already making progress as a new single, in which it has received over 5K views on Youtube in just over a month of release, and over 18K streams on Spotify. With such an immense response in such a short stretch of time, it should be apparent that this artist is someone special. Kick-starting his journey in 2016 with his EP known as 1, he aims to provide every one of his listeners an experience that can make them feel secure all while enjoying his flavours of music.
Modern rock meets techno in a face-off against power and expression in Beyond This Reality, and it is certainly a mighty one. The layers of sounds varying from low intensity to high intensity fill the atmosphere with an audible tension, especially during the progressive intervals in which the harmonious guitar shatters the silence around it. The track can be reminiscent of the early 2000s, in which electro-rock and chiptune had a sudden spike in popularity since the last wave in the ’80s. Therefore following the rebirth of synth-pop/rock, these genres became modernised into what Olly E is incorporating into Beyond This Reality today. Olly E has an accurate flow of his lyrical abilities and does not lack creativity when switching his pace when he raps or even alternates from rapping to singing. His vocals are incredibly suitable for this track, and the harmonies that he has designed sound so vibrant alongside the sharp synth and the crunchy guitars. Beyond This Reality has such a wonderful bounce and rhythm that I’m sure many of the listeners need several rounds of this single just to expel the energy that it brings to them.
Beyond This Reality coincidently sounds rather relevant to the meaning of the track. “Losing sense of our identity” and “are we a failure of humanity” gives the listener a sense of disappointment in the world around them, because of the ever-forward movement of the internet and the online false presence people portray. But Olly E believes “we can change the system”, scrap the false identity and be the intelligent community we were designed to be, because of how wired our minds are.
When thinking of electro-rock mixed with rap, Linkin Park often comes to mind, in which elements of Linkin Park are found in Beyond This Reality. Not only does the listener hear a mad incorporation of different sounds, but the meaningful and rather passionate rapping is so crucial into making this piece work. Olly E varies his rapping skills and flexes his versatility throughout this single.
A particular song that comes to mind when I hear Beyond This Reality is such a song by Deadmau5 (ft Gerard Way) called Professional Grievers. I believe Olly E has both the rhythmic tempo and melodies that come with techno/electronic-rock, and the vocals and lyrics to complement this. Olly E is multi-talented, in which he never limits himself to one talent; he truly expresses all his talents in his music.
It is known that plenty of rock and metal bands openly introduce electronic components into their music while still maintaining a prominent alternative rock sound, such as the band Red. So when looking at Olly E’s adaptation of this, I believe the closest I can relate his overall sound to is the band Red, and their song Gone. This is down to Olly E emphasising two sides of music, raw instruments and digital sounds, as their own individual category, rather than smudging the line between them, causing them to lose their individuality and characteristics.
Since the release of this single, Olly E has managed to reach BBC Radio Leicester to talk about his music and Beyond This Reality. It is important to listen to this song during the times we are in currently and to be mindful when spending all our time inside indulging into a digital world that can damage us as a population. Olly E reminds us to stay true to ourselves and to identify where we can go wrong and use our minds and intelligence to save ourselves.
You can find Beyond This Reality here.
You can also watch the music video here.