While 2020 was at best, a year of uncertainty for many, it was a year that saw the arts crippled, the effects of which are ongoing. Despite this, or perhaps even in spite of this, Birmingham’s Alex Ohm took the year in his stride, performing pre-pandemic sold-out shows and releasing a smattering of singles, one of which raising £700 for the mental health charity Mind.
It’s these singles that form the backbone of The Lost Persons Meeting Point, a five track EP that in the face of everything succeeds in harbouring a quiet optimism. This might come as a surprise, especially once one learns that some of the band’s biggest influences are the likes of Radiohead and Arcade Fire, yet rather than relish in a similar brand of miserabilia however, Ohm and his band opt to take their cues from such band’s rousing anthemics while employing their own soaring sense of optimism.
Opening with the King of Leon-esque “Going Nowhere Fast” the record’s aesthetic is established instantly. Strings and guitars entwine with vocal harmonies while an inexorable bottom end draws the song towards its conclusion. Elsewhere “Hours” explores ideas of isolation and mental health, and understandably is more sombre in tone than its predecessor. The highlight of The Lost Persons Meeting Pointhowever comes in the form of ‘Sometimes’, a rolling and loping offering mounts steadily across its three and half minute run time.
Indeed, though the likes of “Hours” or “Breaking Up” aren’t what one would call euphoric, they do provide a sense of stark realism to the record, while serving to amplify the uplifting optimism of ‘Sometimes’ and final track ‘Time Waits (For No-one)’, a fittingly-titled closer that thematically bookends the EP.
Five tracks of richly varied indie rock, the overall upbeat nature of The Lost Persons Meeting Point might not have been expected given the last 12 months, it is however what we needed. And though it does harbour its more sombre moments, each of these keeps the record tethered to reality, while those tracks that are allowed to really soar, providing the perfect respite to an otherwise bleak and ongoing situation.