The 27-year-old Californian native, Oliver Tree Nickell, is the ultimate music sensation that everyone is raving about. Before his breakthrough in the mainstream media with his music, the creative working machine dedicated his talents to giving comedic nourishment to his fans through vines and embodying larger-than-life personas on social media. But Oliver’s heart always leaned towards music. Being brought up on music at a young age, he experimented with rap, hip hop, and electronic music.
After much anticipation and what seems like an uphill battle, his debut album ‘Ugly is Beautiful’ was released by his label, Atlantic Records. The singer deviated from his conventional rap-rock style to more alternative-pop soundtracks. It debuted at #1 on both the Billboard Alternative Albums Chart and Billboard Top Rock Albums Chart, while grabbing the #14 rank on the Billboard 200. The jarring album charted at #1 on the iTunes and Apple Music Alternative Albums Charts.
Closing out the album with the perfectly titled “I’m Gone,” the singer uses this melancholy track to bid farewell to his fans. Even though he publicly stated that the debut album would be his last, fans are not convinced and are rooting for his new music. In the music video, his farewell is further amplified by fiery electric guitar beats, highlighting the uncharacteristically remorseful lyrics that Oliver wrote himself. Mockingly, the tender goodbye is juxtaposed by the guise of brash production and a blistering chorus, reminding us all that Oliver is the one in control and will do as he pleases. Nowhere else is Oliver as perfectly in sync with the production as he is in “I’m Gone”.
Tree’s “I’m Gone” hits you right in your gut as there are no pretensions whatsoever! It is a window for the music lovers to peek through the real side behind his alter ego, Turbo. On the fly, owning his overbearing and dorky persona, Oliver didn’t hold back. It won’t be wrong to say that he literally becomes engulfed in flames.
Verse 1 & 2
Tell me what you want, maybe I was wrong
Lately, it’s a lot, is this what you wanted
Tell me what you need, nothing comes for free
Please just tell me what you wanted
I wanted less and less against it
This is why I left
I’m running out of options
It happens way too often
I started running into problems again
It happens way too often for me to forget
It’s easier said than don
In these verses, the singer insinuated the rocky journey he went through releasing his album apart from troubles with the label as he had little say or control over the creative and production process. In a Twitch interview with Anthony Fantano and the H3 Podcast, Oliver dropped a bomb on his fans, announcing that he will be retiring from his music career, and this debut album would be his last. He cited the difficulties, lack of support, and collaboration from his label as his reasoning for leaving the industry — stating he aspires to try his hand at filmmaking afterward!
Besides the ingenious lyrics and foot-tapping music, the creative squad behind the song’s production deserves a big shout out, too. The eccentric depiction and visualization of the singer’s emotions emanated through their unique representation. The seamless transitions from dark to fire blazing all around really amped up the mood of the song and oozed the intensity of the lyrics. This video truly embodies the art director, Ryan Farber’s artistic direction and how his mind works in expressing eccentricity. To put it simply, the music video is a cinematography masterpiece.
Los Angeles post-production house, Scissor Films, did surreal VFX enhancement for Oliver Tree’s “I’m Gone.” As the video primarily fixates on the singer, the blazing flames added a spark to the visual imagery and made it more captivating to watch. Many fans, including me, are wondering if it’s all real. So, I caught up with the VFX producer, Joe Grayem, to clear the confusion if it’s just a green screen and special effects or if the set designers actually lit the stage on fire. Well, it’s a mix of both. “real flames were used on set with no green screen. The choice to do it practically comes with a lot of risk to the performers safety and forces us to rely on mass rotoscope. However the reward is perfect lighting conditions to build Oliver’s world one as simple as the singer sitting in a spotlight with pink balloons in his hands and made it extraordinary. Check out the VFX breakdown video on Scissor Films’ YouTube channel here, and see for yourself how it works. You can also get a sneak peek of their other work on Instagram. Find a little snippet of the debate among the myriad of comments on the video on YouTube below!
The ending unveils his exaggerated caricature with ridiculously oversized bell-bottom pants by Karis Robertson, looking like an alien. The inflamed room seems to be crumbling down with bricks falling off from the roof. The ending is rather hilarious because, for a moment, we think he is dead as the debris came crashing down, hitting him in the head. But, to everyone’s surprise, he gets up swearing at those who were trying to put off the fire saying, “I am not even on f****** fire.” One of the highlights of the songs is remarkably in unison with visual imagery. It is when the singer rocks out without a care in the world to the chorus right before the end as the flames take to the sky and his surroundings come crashing down.
So, does this album deserve a round of applause? It certainly does! The release is a pleasant revelation and surprises the listeners with Oliver’s sensitive side – one that has been hidden beneath his previous works. Without further ado, let’s dive into the pool of rhythm because we can bet that you’ll have this song on repeat! Become one of the BLSRufOAHTQ viewers by clicking here.
To grab your favorite merchandise, visit Oliver Tree’s official website.
Looking for a cute look for the beach next summer? Try sporting Oliver cheeky grin with his branded line of swimwear.
Give this man a green screen and a dozen balloons and he’s invincible
Actual fire dude
yea it’s crazy bc the label he was with provided crazy budgets for videos and it’s real fire lol he caught on for multiple times in production
*And a couple hundred metres of denim
This isn’t green screen!
I don’t think it’s a green screen
This is real bro