26 September 2023

Cowboys Don’t Cry

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Oliver Tree, Atlantic Records/Warner Music Australia 2022.

I’m still in the process of making my mind up about Oliver Tree.

What is it that’s made him an internet sensation?

Is it the quality of his song or the amazingly addictive videos he produces to accompany to them?

The truth is it’s probably a combination of both.

He first appeared on my radar via the clip for his world-wide hit single Life Goes On which has clocked up over half a million streams and it’s still climbing.

While I liked the song, I was captivated by the video and the same is true of Cowboys Don’t Cry which is the first single lifted from his upcoming album Cowboy Tears.

If you look him up on Wikipedia he’s credited as being a musician and film maker but it’s notable that he studied business and music technology, and not film.

His debut album, Ugly is Beautiful (2018) contained the single Hurt which really gained some traction with the music press.

The film clip for Hurt was co-written and directed by Oliver Tree with film maker Brendan Vaughan and it was filmed in the Ukraine. (I wonder how many of the areas they filmed in have been left unscathed by the current war?).

The clip has racked up more than a million views.

Each video that he’s released has achieved a substantial number of streams.

The second single from Ugly is Beautiful, Fuck, kept clocking up the views while his fourth single Miracle Man (2019) reached 1.3 million views on its first day of release.

And so, with each subsequent release the viewer numbers keep climbing, and the costs of the videos do as well.

It’s reported that Atlantic Records required him to have a million followers before they would sign him.

When he achieved that, and he’d inked the contract, they immediately bumped the figure up to two million.

I haven’t heard the album Ugly is Beautiful so I can’t comment about the song consistency, but it’s sold well and if his singles are any measure then I feel that his latest album, Cowboy Tears, should be worth listening to.

At present I’m yet to be fully convinced that his songs live up to the quality of the videos, but they have interested me enough to hunt the album down.

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