Tyler Matthew Oyer (TMO) crafts searing, dramatic pop that fluctuates between a tender, glamour akin to Perfume Genius and blistering, club-ready electronics reminiscent of SOPHIE. And that’s only scratching the surface of Oyer’s eclectic, experimental sound. With his new EP NO TEMPLE out now, we caught up with LA-based artist TMO to talk five influential tracks.
Across the EP, Oyer serves drama, decadence, and vulnerability with an elegant and self-assured candour. Opening track ‘DARK GODS’ offers sparse, glacial electronics that accompany Oyer’s brooding, warped incantations. Whilst title track ‘NO TEMPLE’ follows with harsh, explosive club beats, bristling with a heady sonic onslaught and ‘VOLUPTUOUS’ is a sweltering dancefloor heater. Elsewhere ‘BRUTAL LANGUAGE’ and ‘CRY’ sees Oyer’s powerful vocals soar with tender, quivering reverence.
A release that, in Oyer’s own words,calls for social change; the destruction of patriarchal rule in favor of femme, queer, anti-violent, unconventional or maladjusted alterities NO TEMPLE is a staggering, sacred, and viscerally uninhibited work of art worth spending a lot of time with.
Get to know Tyler Matthew Oyer In Five…
Anohni – “Drone Bomb Me”
I love song titles and “Drone Bomb Me” is an epic title – beautiful and painful. Anohni situates a violent metaphor as a site for destruction and ecstasy with their tender, vibrato-heavy vocals countered by the pulsing electronic production. This song is in dialogue with my track “No Temple”; the explosion within desire, a call for great change.
Diamanda Galas – “Let My People Go”
I grew up in church and sang sacred music most of my teens and twenties. When I heard and saw Diamanda’s interpretation of spiritual music into something goth, something political, the powerful effects were overwhelming to me. She has all the technique but throws away the stiffness of convention. I also studied classical opera voice, so Diamanda’s vocalizations are huge inspirations for me – not so much in the studio recordings but it comes out sometimes in my live performances. I hope to explore and expand my voice in the spirit of Diamanda on the next project, which is well on its way.
Peaches – “More”
I’m a big fan of electroclash – I love dance music and theatricality. For me Peaches is a role model because she crosses genres from club to theatre to festivals to conceptual artist in a museum. I’ve spent the last 12 years making and touring live performance artworks and now that I’ve put both feet in the music domain I look to Peaches as someone who has done and continues to do all the things I love. I also admire how she combines humor and politics, boldness and fun. “More” is definitely in dialogue with my song “Voluptuous”.
Bjork – “jóga”
Bjork’s masterful ability to combine classical music structures and tonalities with her expansive lyrics and vocalizations is always a serious inspiration for me. Her lyrical metaphors that pull from the earth and dive into the psyche cause an expansion and contraction sensation when I listen to this song – something that is part of the foundation of NO TEMPLE; revolutions on personal and societal scales. I could write an essay about Bjork but I’ll leave it there 🙂
Years & Years – “Foundation”
In addition to being my dear friend, Olly Alexander is one of my favorite vocalists in pop music. The undulating, dark synths keep building while Olly’s vocal phrases repeat, floating in another realm. I love how the song denies a pop structure and builds into a super emotional anthem – with Olly almost screaming near the end. I love intro and interlude tracks, short ideas that are palate cleansers or pivots from where the last song left off. This idea is reflected in my song “Forgive You Not”.
Photo credit: Boychoy