It’s a few years old now but Oliver Nickell keeps giving us more reason to listen to his amazing collaboration with Beat Culture and Lena Kuhn. ”Stuck Down the Wrong Rabbit Hole” blends Nickell’s ability to conjure experimental giddiness with lush production from Beat Culture and the video manages to capture that same sense of wonder. This is a much bigger video than anything Tree has ever done and it’s clear why he spent so much time in making it work. From Nickell doing his own stunts to the animated second half the entire ride is easily one of the best videos I’ve seen in a long time.
It’s been far too long since we’ve heard new music from the homie Tree (let alone our homie Beat Culture). ”Demons” has been a long time coming too. Sunik and Oliver collaborated on this track a while back and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the final product after their amazing collaboration on “Stuck Down the Wrong Rabbit Hole”. ”Demons” is everything we’ve grown to expect from Tree in that it’s a highly unpredictable piece of experimental pop. Just listen.
Tree is a musician who has always defined himself and his music on being impossible to define. Over the past few years, Oliver Nickell has built up an incredible amount of music with collaborations from the homie Beat Culture to fellow Californian bro Shelf Nunny. Each time Nickell put out a new track it was exciting to hear where he was decided to go and what he had experimented with on the track. ”Tully” had Tree spit some Beastie Boys inspired rapping, “Warrior” breaks down with a gameboy constructed solo and “Universal” had Tree making universe sized self-affirming declarations. Prepping for his EP debut on Apollo Records (a subsidiary of the legendary R&S Records) Nickell has created a compilation LP of sorts that collects most of his releases into a coherent listen. Listening to Tree in an album context makes it more apparent how cohesive and concentrated the vision of his music is. Although the stylistic jumps between some of the songs make the release seem like a mixtape, Tree works with a consistent sound approach using mostly organically made sounds and samples from things he found lying around. The entire album is under 30 minutes and could not have me more excited for his upcoming EP. Nickell is undoubtedly an alien born musical genius who was sent to earth with the mission of spreading truth, positive vibes and good feelings… so listen to Splitting Branches. Also read our interview with him.
After having the chance to talk to 18 year old prodigy Oliver Nickell on his project, Tree, a lot about his music made sense. Oliver has always made bold statements in his music with lines like “We are the universe/ don’t forget that” and “Warrior inside us/ time for you to stand up tall,” and he has been able to pull off the lyrics with a sense of genuine, wide-eyed optimism. Those lyrics can only come from a person who’s been to incredible lows and dark places and had the ability to bounce back. Of course, like all good stories, Oliver’s life hasn’t always been all ‘carpe diem’ and enthusiasm. A truly amazing experience found Oliver turning his life around from a hopeless low. Being able to chat with Oliver gave me a glimpse into his vibrant world of art, sun, and seeking beauty in everything. Oliver’s words make it clear why he can pull off such big statements with his music. Read the full interview below…