Photo: Byron Spencer

Sydney newcomers Royel Otis shift through the gears on their bleached dreampop “Only One”, announce debut EP

Royel Otis are an emerging Australian band who, much like a rap collab group, got their band moniker by mashing their two names together. Otis Pavlovic and Royel Maddell grew up in Sydney’s Bondi Beach, and it’s fair to say those years of perpetual sun have seeped into their quixotic dreampop blend. Today they reveal that they’ll be releasing a debut EP called Campus on September 30 through House Anxiety / Ourness.

Ahead of that they’ve shared the lead single, “Only One”, saying:

“We want to create a sound that holds the same raw, honest, evocative feeling that inspired us to pick up our instruments in the first place. We wrote [Only One] in the midst of recording and kept building on it throughout the process for some fun. A lot of ‘try this or try that’ was going on and I don’t think we ever really knew where we were going with it, but that’s kind of the beauty of the track, it explains its strange structure and changes.”

While “Only One” floats in a dreamy tone musically, lyrically it finds our self-proclaimed “young scoundrels” tossing and turning in agitation. “I’m just so tired of my sick mind” Otis begins, and, following the feathery path played by the guitar, lets his tongue get loose and his dissatisfied feelings tumble out. Royel Otis maintain tension and reflect Otis’ vacillating feelings by keeping “Only One” on its toes, shifting into an spare, Beach Boys-esque chorus, going on a pinwheeling synth solo, and rounding it out with a lapse into a languorous finale – peace, at last.

Watch the video for “Only One” below, or listen to it on streaming platforms.

Royel Otis’ Campus EP comes out on September 30 through House Anxiety / Ourness (pre-save). You can find the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.