A disarming, hypnotic offering that gently taps at the inside of the head, Brighton-based artist Lucy Sheehan aka O Hell has shared their latest single ‘pixel’. Laced with eerie, tentative piano sounds and Sheehan’s clear, yearning vocals, the track is an ominous piece of lo-fi electronica, accompanied by a video shot by Jay Bartlett Films.
After years spent touring and recording music in alternative bands around the UK, Sheehan ventured into fresh sonic territory under their new moniker O Hell back in 2021. Influenced by a love of eclectic, brooding soundscapes and a desire for creative independence, Sheehan was inspired by everything from Lithuanian folk songs to DJ Shadow and PJ Harvey when it came to creating her new sounds. Mined during a period of intense isolation, ‘pixel’ is another example of Sheehan’s ability to tap into uneasy states of consciousness with her ambigous, yet palpably familiar lyrics – “I dare to find your picture / run my hand across the pixels”
Speaking about the conception of the track, Sheehan explains: “I was at a studio way out in the Sussex Downs, and I started playing this fucked piano, completely out of tune. Anyway I didn’t know it was being recorded. I was in my own world. I showed my collaborator George, and as big fans of Amnesiac we decided to scramble it into this strange, surreal piece of electronica. Around the same time a friend of mine showed me this beautiful Lithuanian folk song called ‘Zalioj Girioj Stadalelis’ and I loved the sparse and haunting melodic structure. I remembered I don’t always have to write a chorus.”
“The softer, more surreal side of artists like PJ Harvey and Vincent Vocoder Voice were also big influences on ‘pixel’,” she continues. “I like visceral music, lyrics that are fragile, disgusting or painful. There has to be an emotional edge. I couldn’t give a fuck about friendly music.” This curation of unease is something Sheehan explored on her previous single, ‘I Watch The Women‘, and continues to explore sonically on ‘pixel’ too.
Watch the video for the new single below.
Photo Credit: Bridie Florence Cummings