At first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I liked about this song from Tennesseans Calicocat. But I think that uncertainty, in a way, is my answer. There are times during “Unnatural Oasis” — most notably around the 30-second mark — where it sounds as if the pace might spiral out of control, like the song might fall apart. But the shifts in tempo and the interplay between big guitar licks and righteous bass fingering are what make this tune a delight. It goes from tightly rhythmic rock to fast-and-loose jamming on a dime. That made me and my ears smile.
I don’t know a whole lot about Calicocat besides where they’re from (Hendersonville, TN) and that they are a foursome (one of whom goes simply by “Coley,” and who apparently hosted the recording session for this gem). The vocals here are a kind of unique combo between the less quirky parts of Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug and a dash of The Shins’ James Mercer. I keep listening to “Unnatural Oasis,” and keep enjoying it thoroughly. I hope you feel the same.