On the next one of those fantastic Oklahoma days, when the humidity and wind take the day off and the weather is perfect for opening up the screen door and windows, turn on “On the Mountain Side,” by Oklahoma City’s O Fidelis, and let the goodness wash over you.
Their brand of “newgrass” indie folk is the brainchild of two musicians whose relationship evolved from merely bandmates to newlyweds, yet Brian and Laney Gilillands’s smitten vibe isn’t at all obvious – not cliché in a love song sense, but rather euphoric overall.
Cheerful, colorful and endearingly earnest, it’s easy to hear how with newlywed songwriters/musicians, inspiration is never lacking.
“It was always a dream of mine to write music with a girl. I think that female vocals blended with male vocals makes for something pretty special and unique,” Brian says.
“In the past, I was always writing dark stuff, introspective and kind of depressing. Then I started writing and playing with Laney, and she brought this whole new bright and happy tone to the table, on so many different levels.”
Depending on the venue, O Fidelis offers two different kinds of shows, but regardless of the size of the stage, their style is a whimsical good time, with the shuffle between musicians and their instruments creating a visual aesthetic that is as fun to watch as the music is to stomp and clap your hands to.
Whether getting down to the skeletons of their songs at an intimate acoustic set with Brian and Laney alone, or jamming out at bigger shows that includes the full five-piece band and their stage full of diverse instruments, O Fidelis’ reach extends across a broad spectrum of audiences.
Set for release this summer, their first LP, Bible Promises and Dinosaurs, embodies their self-proclaimed “knack for weirdness,” and is a surefire audible pick-me-up guaranteed to appeal to young folks, old folks, and all ages in between.
Contagious and charming, O Fidelis will put a smile on your face, no matter your mood.
“This was important to us when we were first figuring out our sound. We knew we wanted it to be happy, and something everyone in our family could enjoy,” Brian explains.
“It’s been a priority of ours from the start to be honest in our lyrics, but above all, to be upbeat and happy. To remain family-friendly and always lift people up.”