Oh, Jeremiah delivers angelic album

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Jeremiah Stricklin sits with Mercedes, his Eastman Parlor guitar, in McLemore Hall at The University of Southern Mississippi. He graduated from Southern Miss in 2012 . Kate Dearman/Printz
Jeremiah Stricklin sits with Mercedes, his Eastman Parlor guitar, in McLemore Hall at The University of Southern Mississippi. He graduated from Southern Miss in 2012 .
Kate Dearman/Printz

I greatly admire singer/songwriters who take pride in telling a story. They have a clear understanding of how to create a scene or tell a story metaphorically. The song lyrics convey their personalities as they reveal their deepest thoughts to listeners.

Jeremiah Stricklin, lead singer of Oh, Jeremiah, has immersed himself into the lives of animals, monsters and punching bags in his new album “Our Very Own Kingdom.”

The five-track EP album takes the listener through a rollercoaster of life, love and how our society has changed today.

“Two Animals,” the opening track, was inspired by Stricklin’s love of storytelling.

“I wanted to challenge myself to tell a boring, real life event and make it captivating,” Stricklin said. He said he dated a woman who had friends who were not too fond him. This song is relatable to listeners who have had a similar experience. By transforming humans into two animals, this song has a whimsical twist on the unfortunate and awkward situation.

“Beautiful Monster” is my personal favorite. This song possesses an air of nostalgia, allowing me to recollect those mornings when time stood still. I can imagine myself under my bed covers, sipping my coffee and never wanting to leave my sanctuary for the rest of the day. It also makes me think of past relationships and how I once thought someone was perfect for me, and they turned out to just be a pipedream.

“It’s about being attracted to the parts of a person that you later hate them for,” Stricklin said. “Then even later, (you) later learn to respect and even love (them for).”

Stricklin wrote “Beautiful Monster” in 10 minutes and said it was one of the most effortless songs he has ever written.

“Scenic Route” is also about love, which Stricklin admits was written after a break up.  “It was my attempt to living a little,” he said. “My idea was to go out and make a lot of bad decisions. I was all talk. I still went to bed at 10:30 p.m.”

Other intriguing songs on the album include “Punching Bag, ” which is a song about closure, and “Brothers and Sisters,” which Stricklin sings about how cruel people are on social media.

Most of the songs contain juxtaposition between the acoustic guitar and the violin, which gives Oh, Jeremiah a slightly different sound than most bands in the local scene.

Stricklin’s honest, quirky lyrics are relatable to many young people, whether one is moving on from a break up, going through the post-breakup stage filled with careless decisions or being bullied by someone on Facebook.

Although Stricklin has crafted each of his songs with sincerity and authenticity, “Two Animals” is his favorite song from this record. He said it is the best representation of him
as a songwriter.

In this album, every one of Oh, Jeremiah’s songs are strikingly contagious and they leave a sense of familiarity ringing in our ears.

“Our Very Own Kingdom” is a record that fans will listen to as they are sitting on their front porch swings, drinking Fat Tire and wishing time would just slow down. It is familiar,
fresh and honest.

Stricklin’s EP album is just a stepping-stone for his next full-length record.

“My (next) record is going to contain everything in my soul I possess,” he said.

“There will be wild stories, more orchestral elements and brutal honesty.”

Oh, Jeremiah’s album release party for “Our Very Own Kingdom” will take place Friday, May 2 at the Thirsty Hippo. The event kicks off at 10 p.m. and a special guest will include The Squid & The Whale.