NPR logo

'South'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/93334023/92947159" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Black Osin: 'South'

Black Osin: 'South'

'South'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/93334023/92947159" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Black Osin 300 i

Black Osin's C. Blake Osin (right). Gabbles hide caption

toggle caption Gabbles
Black Osin 300

Black Osin's C. Blake Osin (right).

Gabbles

Black Osin is the solo home-recording project of Seattle-based artist C. Blake Osin. Osin originates from Vladivostok, Russia, and the country's influence shines through in his music. Black Osin's debut album, Terrifics, is a wonderfully lo-fi set of songs that fall in line with the work of Beirut, DeVotchKa and Neutral Milk Hotel. The disc's clanky percussion, off-kilter melodies and traditional folk instrumentation all help conjure images of snowed-in, vodka-drenched barroom singalongs.

The album's Gypsy-folk sound relies heavily on accordion, melodica and ukulele, particularly in "South" and "Numberone." The quirky arrangement on "South," paired with Osin's ironically upbeat vocals ("I hate this world more than ever"), mimics the moods of traditional traveling-circus music. "Numberone" proves the most beautifully orchestrated piece on the album, with layers upon layers of swelling accordions and tinny tambourines.

Perhaps the most surprising song on Terrifics is the lo-fi electro-folk exploration "Orange Peels." The song's opening could easily be the start to a trance-inducing techno track, but once Osin starts singing and the accordion enters the mix, the folk sound is undeniable.

Osin grew up in Russia and moved to the U.S. as a teenager. "I moved to Salt Lake City with my grandparents when I was 14," Osin says. "Moving to the states had a huge impact on my work. Living in Salt Lake City gave me a sort of skewed view of the U.S., because it was so culturally isolated." Osin started hopping freight trains with a friend after high school and wound up in art school in Seattle, where he now lives. Osin records all of his music in his apartment with a single mic and an old computer.

Download this song in the Second Stage podcast.

Yesterday's Second Stage artist.

Email host Robin Hilton.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.