Othello is the great tragic figure of Shakespeare canon and the character has inspired multiple interpretations throughout art, literature, film and music. Naturally, the last of these applies to the suitably named ‘Othello’ from German indie band Jon Doe. This five-piece entirely deconstructs our assumed image of the fictional person by rendering him as utterly human. In fact, the themes of self-doubt, anxiety and societal pressure, as found in such lyrics as “I’ve been pushing to live up to my potential, / Holding me closer like I be special, / Roaming the streets, / I don’t want a medal”, are relatable in just about any context whether you be a castle-dwelling bard or not.
As for the track itself, it’s a super satisfying indie number composed of jaunty alt-pop guitars, jazz-coloured drums and groovey bass. We’ve already alluded to the lyrics which are wrought out in lo-fi vocals that really grab your attention, being reminiscent of fellow indie troubadours Easy Life and CVC.
All of the building pressure at the heart of ‘Othello’ eventually bursts into a fiery crescendo where scintillating guitar riffs and expressive percussion provide cathartic relief. Immediately following that, the funkier elements step up to the plate with those cool bass struts and relaxed backbeats to gently set the listener back down on the ground before the track’s inevitable end.
Before we leave you to come up with your own thoughts about ‘Othello’, here’s a little note from Jon Doe about the track’s conception:
“I wrote the basic structure of Othello and recorded a demo of the track. After that the song was then presented to the whole band and worked on, changes were made here and there to make the song what it is today. Othello is about feeling overwhelmed with the world and just waltzing through life without realising how fast it goes by.”
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