Wednesday 27 March 2019


The feel of being bed-bound with the window open and nature spills in. Bright mornings. Birds chirping like book ends wrap the sweetness of the song in pastoral, the synth even feeling leafy and organic in its rhythmic sparrow-sized chords, pastel-coloured trembling with minute vibrato.

'Oxygen' by TSUKI – a duo comprising Chanlar Rose and Levi Chappell (and one of the first songs they wrote together back in 2015) – is part natural idyll, part honest convalescence, an atmosphere conjured by Chanlar's vocals. The lyrics, referencing lungs, oxygen, souls turning black, lacking strength to lend, were written by Chanlar "while she was recovering from a fairly invasive surgery," Levi tells us.

"She was out for a few months and the lyrics are a reflection of the strain that that the entire experience ended up putting on her personal relationships."

The gravity of those lyrics – the way Chanlar's voice vaults into the air, how words seem almost spit out, how light distortion touches them – contrasts with the candy-coated instrumental, resonating only with the thump and heft of the beat, comparatively brutal compared to the delicacy of the cute synths. The birdsong, by the end, is crushed as the song, instead of fading out, decays.

  • 🔔 You can stream TSUKI's 'Oxygen' variously, but it's on Spotify too.
  • 🔔 It doesn't feature 'Oxygen', but if you liked this you should probably take a listen to TSUKI's debut album, Severance Package.


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