– Hyde Out are a duo consisting of Omar Merlo (from Lugano) and Jaka Levstek, who have been musically collaborating since 2014. Both came from broad...Read Biography
Hyde Out are a duo consisting of Omar Merlo (from Lugano) and Jaka Levstek, who have been musically collaborating since 2014. Both came from broad creative musical backgrounds. Omar has been the musical lead of several bands throughout Europe and Australia, whereas Jaka honed his musical craft through collaboration with recognised popular and classical musicians throughout Europe. As self-described “non-musicians” they are looking for untested and novel ways to reboot the sounds that defined their raw musical origins and redefine them in a contemporary way.
In 2018 they recorded their first, self-produced, demo album titled “Technicolour Ghost”, a candid exploration of their musical histories. Technical Ghost brought forth a single, “Nights”, which garnered some positive reviews around the world. They ventured forward in the summer of 2020, with a new musical angle. Breaking through the bleakness of the Covid-19 epidemic, they collaborated with Italian musicians to produce an EP titled “Chiaraluna”, which achieved some success in Italy and other parts of the world. That album also marked their first collaboration with Supreme Tracks in New York, and that collaboration then lead to the production of their new studio album “Smoke and Mirrors”, released on 2nd November 2020.
Smoke and Mirrors is an eclectic collection of 12 original songs that showcase Hyde Out’s varied influences and creative directions. Individual songs concepts are inspired by selected moments of everyday lives, small realisations and decisions about our relationships with the people and situations that surround us. The album starts with “Alive”, which sets the mood with its distinctive guitar-intro that develops into a hymn of defiance against resignation and apathy. It continues with the commuter’s elegy of “Wide and Bright”, with its warm vocal harmonies and haunting chorus. It then transitions into the upbeat lightness of “Move it”, and then “Ode to J”, a tongue-in-cheek, pop-folk piece that raises a middle-finger to the exploiters in our lives. Then come the sarcasm and satirical reproaches of “Welcome”, and the raw and primal rhythms of “Smoke and Mirrors”, which denounces the complacency of everyday fakeness. “Make my day” is a sympho-pop ode to isolation, with both bright and dark edges. With “Fluent in Silence” the duo explores the depths of conflict and broken relationships through a classic rock anthem, and shift the album’s tone to a more introspective mood. This continues with “Meadvale Road”, with its intricate guitar and mandolin riffs and intense lyrics. Then the alt-country-rock inspired “Island Sunshine” is meant to make you smile again, with its guitar licks and jaunty vocal harmonies. This is followed by a contemplative and guitar-lead “Derelict”, a prog-rock interlude that finds beauty in the bleakness of a pandemic-evacuated London. The album concludes with the electro-rock song “This looks like”, an explosive and rather experimental piece about rebellion against shallow friendships and the beauty that may be found in the simplest things. The album does not necessarily attempt to find a uniform musical imagery, instead aiming to elevate the uniqueness of each song-concepts with its own sound, providing the listener with an eclectic experience and a melodic, accessible journey through different sounds and moods.