I’ve been following the career of Oliver Ignatius for about 15 years already. As a teen he fronted the band The Hysterics, who became the first band to break out of the blogosphere and landed themselves some screen time on MTV. After that band dissolved, which you can read about here, he started his own studio. Over the past seven or eight years a lot of my favorite music has been recorded and/or produced by Oliver. Bands like Sons Of An Illustrious Father, The Great American Novel, The All-About, and countless others might have gone well under my radar if not for his involvement. Check out this bandcamp page to hear a collection of his work with bands at Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen.
Now he’s changed the name of the studio to Holy Fang, and I’m glad that one of the first things coming out is his solo work. He’s been behind the board on so many great songs without much time to work on his own music. I’ve been waiting a long time to hear what he was going to do as an artist after his previous band, Ghost Pal, decided to call it quits a few years ago. I am very happy to report that “Citys A Hell” finds Ignatius comfortably back at the height of his musical abilities.
The track has so much going on it’s almost hard to describe. There are hints of Motown and psychedelic funk throughout. If you’re familiar with Ignatius’ previous work, you will definitely be familiar with some of the things he does here. His love for the music of Sly & The Family Stone and The Beatles shines brightly like his musical Polaris, guiding him through his artistic journey.
The song is a little over 5 minutes long, and feels like it could go on quite a bit more if he wanted. All the instruments get a moment to step out into the spotlight, but none ever take away from anything else. There are some amazing guitar parts buried away that are only audible for a few seconds at a time. The vocal harmonies swirl around like a sublime sonic cyclone serenading your cerebral cortex. The list players on “Citys A Hell” is akin to a musical all-star team with a lot of names you might recognize from the Mama Coco’s glory days: Lilah Larson of Sons Of An Illustrious Father, Jacob Sunshine of Ghost Pal, Mary Knapp of Toot Sweet, and long-time Ignatius collaborator Henry Kandel are just a few of the names that appear on this track. Making great music becomes a little bit easier when you have that kind of talent behind you.
I’m excited to hear more from Oliver, but that’s always been the case. I hope this track gets more people interested in his solo stuff and not just the music he produces. And I really hope he puts out more music in less time than it took him to get this one into our lives.
I embedded a link from Bandcamp, and you can also check this song out on Spotify.