EP Review: Oska Zaky – 22 Years Later

The exciting artist continues to showcase his creative edge and emotive songwriting on this excellent new collection of tracks.

For just over half a decade now, UK artist Oska Zaky has been establishing himself as an immersive electronic pop artist who’s creativity and guile has provided him with a collection of expansive and distinctive tracks signalling his potential and modern appeal. The highly anticipated release of his debut EP feels like a long time coming, and 22 Years Later is a collection of tracks that masterfully showcases the artist’s unique style and charm.

‘Bluebell (Rather Be)’ is the track that opens the EP and is also Oska’s latest single, an emotive release that is packed full of thoughtful lyrics and a poignant, immersive soundscape. The track grows from more conventional balladry to something all the more cutting edge and modern as it progresses, but never loses its spark or edge.

This is followed by ‘Gimme (a Lie) and a welcome feature from the CLOUT-lauded Lauren Dejey, with the artist’s vocals meshing together nicely, showcasing a slick chemistry between the pair and adding another layer of sheen and appeal to an already memorable, atmospheric track. The way that their vocals contrast each other and each have such a distinctive, memorable flair makes for a tonne of really immersive moments that echo the creativity and coolness of the release.

‘Seven (Part 7) is next and showcases some of the more atmospheric and laid-back tendencies that the artist can have. This pairs really well with his electronic soundscapes and makes for another release packed full of contemporary pop appeal, laced full of intricate, thoughtful passages, heartfelt lyrics and a cutting edge flair. The track builds and expands throughout before bleeding into ‘Seven Reprise’, a track that ups the tempo of its predecessor and provides it with a more energetic sequel. These two tracks tie together nicely and showcase the broad spectrum of sounds and vibes that Oska can create and the gorgeous flowing way that his sound flows and adapts.

The short burst of ‘Cupids Game’ lasts just under a minute and a half, and provides a really slick and cutting edge moment that has this insatiably cool sense of darkness and intrigue to it. From the immersive, hushed nature of the vocals to its skeptical lyrics, the track provides the EP with a really powerful 90 seconds.

Things eventually close out with ‘Never enough’, a more spacious and cathartic end to the collection of tracks. Whereas some artists like to close out their bodies of work with something emphatic or explosive, Oska Zaky does the opposite here, choosing to fade out in reflective fashion. There is a real beauty to the instrumentation here and the candid vulnerability of the lyrics, as the artist seems to be coming to terms with letting go. It is a moment of calm in an EP that is packed full of creative ideas and experimentation. Oska Zaky has repeatedly showcased himself as an artist with a unique style and appeal, and 22 Years Later¬†continues to reinforce this.