Content warning: This article mentions the topic of sexual assault as discussed in the subject matter of the Quinn Oulton song “Sober.” If you or someone you know requires help related to sexual assault, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline for 24/7 confidential support at 1-800-656-4673 or visit here.
Quinn Oulton is a South London-based producer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. The r’n’b artist has released three EPs since 2017, with his most recent, Show Your Face, dropping earlier this year. It’s quite a statement that Oulton is already back with a new single, which we’re happy to premiere: “Sober”. Out November 25 through DeepMatter Records, the song’s challenging subject matter is paired with an unfolding, dynamic arrangement and minimalist music video.
“Sober” starts as an incredibly smooth r’n’b track that features an intimate, impressive vocal performance from Oulton, at times reminiscent of Jordan Rakei. However, what begins soft and solemn grows more aggressive with distorted guitars and clipping falsetto vocals as the track unfolds. It is impressive how the arrangement and the sparse music video effectively underscore the piece’s poignant lyrics. Oulton explains:
‘We are finally seeing more open discussion around sexual assault and violence against women in the wake of the #metoo movement. I’ve been seeing it spoken about on social media and the news more and more, and I wanted to write a song to contribute to this dialogue. In particular, I wanted to bring up one aspect of it that I feel has been largely ignored, which is when sexual assault happens within a friendship group. It seems to me that when sexual assault happens within a friendship group, men are given the benefit of the doubt, whereas women’s experiences are questioned or ignored. This often leads to women feeling isolated and alone. This is really frustrating, given that the majority of sexual assaults happen between people that know each other. I want to express full solidarity with women who have experienced this, and hope that this song encourages people to be receptive to those who ask them for support.‘