We have a track premiere today from Antun Opic whose album No Offense was featured on Folk Radio UK in 2013. Shovel My Coal is the title track of his new EP out on July 10th which draws on his numerous influences, listen to it below.
“I don’t feel ‘home’ anywhere” says Antun Opic. With his dual origins from both Germany and Croatia, the singer-songwriter lets his sense of rootlessness feed into his work as an artist to create an opus born from the amalgamation of all his musical influences. As varied in musical style as it is in national inspiration, the new EP “has nothing to do with Balkan music”, a point which Antun hastens to make clear – his music draws on ideas from many different sources without hierarchy.
Indeed, versatility is an important part of Antun’s musical ethos – he plays an unconventional blend of world music, blues, and pop; allowing blaring trumpets to meet a swinging banjo, while gospel choirs are jubilating in the background. Sometimes the guitar romanticises in the style of Django Reinhardt, sometimes, it devotedly enthrals the listener in the manner of Paco de Lucia. In some of his songs, Antun Opic includes passionate gypsy and fiery flamenco only to recall Paul Simon’s African borrowings in others.
The particular nature of the band also enables adaptibility – playing both acoustically and with amplification, their music can encapsulate and transmit a panoply of different atmospheres, through “blind understanding” (T. Kavelar). Nevertheless, it is not through the desire to touch a wider audience that Antun Opic chooses to sing in English as opposed to his native German or Croatian – the reasoning is twofold. As well as being the lingua franca for the Anglo-American pop/rock genre which “has been inspiring him ever since his early youth”, English also provides for Antun the doorway to a “new soul” through which he can write with some objective distance.
The stage characters Antun creates may be as he puts it “people you wouldn’t really want to know”, but perhaps this too is at the essence of Antun Opic’s appeal – he writes as the lingering one percent of our minds which we try to ignore. He writes from a multinational outlook with a result that evades geographical or genre classification, and approaches timelessness.