Feature by Ellie Garno
“Remember when you were a kid, you’d be terrified at bedtime when the lights went out? You’d pull the blanket tightly over your head to protect yourself from whatever was out there?” remarks Oh, Be Clever singer-songwriter, Brittney Shields, of their new single, “Blanket,” which premiered on Kick Kick Snare this past Monday. “This song is the adult version of that scenario.”
We will get to “Blanket” in a minute, but first, the story of how the Salt Lake City electro-soul duo (Cory Scott Layton plays pretty much everything else) came to be because it rules: Each part of rival bands, Layton and Shields came together during a literal fight between the two after a show. Later that night, the two said goodbye to their respective bands and hello to Oh, Be Clever. The group has released six songs since then, including the almost Biblically good—and with over 46k plays on Soundcloud—“River.” The almighty blogosphere has also given its approval; Oh, Be Clever recently reached #17 on notable music blog aggregator Hype Machine.
“Blanket” opens (and closes) with a nouveau Western electric guitar. Then, loud and clear: “The Doctor said/‘Try upping the dosage’/What does he know?” As in the quote from Shields, the song is about embracing your demons, “the ghost in your closet or the boogie man under your bed.” But the message would be nothing without the vocals of Shields to relay it. Her voice, strong, but also quite feminine, is showcased on “Blanket.” The chorus, also the resolution, is therefore explosive (“I can’t keep pulling the blanket up over my head”), with 2015-type instruments coming from all over.