Oracle Sisters is a Parisian trio full of delights. Members Lewis Lazar, Christopher Willatt, and Julia Johansen hail from various corners of Europe. Together, they gained worldwide critical acclaim last year for Paris I, their future-nostalgic imagination of Paris a century from now. Now its sister EP Paris II has arrived, the band find themselves in a rich vein of creativity as they paint a contrasting dystopian image of the French capital where dolphins design atom bombs and objective truths no longer exist.
“Paris I and Paris II were inspired by these pictures I found of the Paris World Fair of 1900, for which the Eiffel tower was built amongst a plethora of pavilions and new buildings,” says Lazar in a press release. “It completely changed the landscape of the city, so the idea was to imagine Paris as a place to be reinvented and re-imagined in the context of humanity being at a crossroads existentially today.”
The band are uninhibited in their influences, finding inspiration within the art, cinema, philosophy, and music of the world over. These influences shine in tracks such as “Asc. Scorpio” from Paris I where lyrics painted through abstract imagery are harnessed with warm harmonies and melodies that tempt you into their embrace.
“Honey Moon,” the opener of their new EP, follows in a similar vein with octavian harmonies and a sensuously slow pace easing you into the record. Followed by the equally delightful track “The Dandelion,” these first two offerings may allude to what the band describe as the “allies of hope” within the darker sides of the psyche of future Paris.
It’s not until “If I was Yours” where unsettling sonic embellishments come to the fore alongside equally unsettling lyrical imagery: “If I was your snake / Would you wear me proudly round your neck? / With one simple squeeze I’d suffocate your love of fools / So weak and so untrue.”
Yet, what becomes clear towards the end of the EP is its raw, romantic mood and its affirmation that no matter what we may face in the future, there is hope to be found in honest songs that chronicle the human condition. “La Ferme Song” is infused with a melancholic longing for “my only one” while closing track “I Don’t Wanna Move” captures the camaraderie of the human spirit, the live studio recording enhancing its deeply intimate feel.
On Paris II, Oracle Sisters take their troubadour spirit to visionary heights. Flashes of dissonance add depth to the sea of love the band exude on the EP and who knows… if this is the soundtrack to a hundred years from now, maybe there’s hope for humanity just yet.