Covering Tom Waits is not for the faint of heart, and London-based artist Oliver Marson is up to the task. With thunderous baritone and rock and roll swagger, Marson channels Nick Cave and Scott Walker for Waits’ classic Goin’ Out West.
‘I chose this song because it captures that feeling of pent-up energy and desperation felt during this time,” says Marson. “Like many of Waits’ songs, this one’s written from the perspective of an interesting character: in this case, a gruff man who is endearingly, overly serious about his dream of becoming a Hollywood actor. I like this character a lot because of that insane desire to escape’.
The self-directed video, shot in a faux VHS throwback style, echoes the creepy mug-for-the-camera elements of Silence of the Lambs’ Buffalo Bill, but if he’d decided to take up karaoke instead of dressmaking. It’s a goofy take, but that certainly works with a Tom Waits cover.
Marson is a jack of all trades in the music scene, dissecting both pop music and the dark societal underbelly with inspiration from Serge Gainsbourg, David Bowie, and the sinister stylings of Lee Hazlewood. Marson’s debut track, Cocaine Romance, explores the effects of toxic relationships amidst a bedrock of 80s synth-pop. Likewise, his latest releases, Time for Love and To the Nines, highlight his musical versatility and ability to counter dark topics through a combination of wit and invention.
Watch the video for Goin’ Out West below: