Remerging from a two-year absence, Cullen Omori returns with a bright, psychedelic infused single titled “Four Years”. Following the breakup of Smith Westerns in 2014, the former frontman signed with Sub Pop records and released his first solo LP New Misery, which takes on a gloomier and more brooding tone than what is so commonly found on his former projects discography. With his solo career taking a definite stylistic turn since the band’s breakup, there are very noticeable similarities and a continuation in form by Omori. This is shown clearly on “Four Years” as it takes on psychedelic flares complemented by a more subdued guitar track. A noticeable stylistic change in Omori’s work appearing since “New Misery” includes heavy synthesizer riffs with a more subordinate backing rhythm guitar, continuing on in similar fashion from Smith Westerns’ heavily orchestrated songs such as “XVII” from their third release Soft Will.
“Four Years” emerges with a breezy psychedelic riff over top of muffled percussion and gradually builds to a fuller and more vibrant track. The introduction of Omori’s vocals allows for pleasant reminiscing of earlier Smith Western’s works, with the beginning guitar riff alluding to the former project while also setting the scene of what is to come. The melancholy lyrics that Omori laments point towards a relationship with little to no commitment from either party. The light, sparkly, nature of the guitar riff that is continually being played allows for the listener to experience the aloof narrative that is laid down. “Four Years” is, at first listen, a mellow summery track but soon evolves into a denser more lyrically symbolic piece, with a slight continuation in both style and atmosphere. To elaborate lines such as “the boy is left, trying to sort through all the mess became so attached to feeling like a piece of trash” sum up the mood that is set throughout the song, with carefree instrumentation clashing against dense moody lyrics. With the evolution of Omori’s solo career, the release of “Four Years” is perhaps not a leap into complete stylistic individuality, but instead taking a more conservative approach, which results in an Omori-Smith Westerns hybrid that has become character since the band’s split. There have been no announcements for any further releases, although Omori will be playing a handful of shows throughout America in July.
Take a listen here: