Unfinished Side is thrilled to announce the addition of Oracle Hysterical to its management roster. We first experienced the band when they performed their song-cycle “The Sea” with A Far Cry in 2016. Monumental, soulful, and tough to describe – it was perfect for us. We went on to work on Oracle’s first album, Passionate Pilgrim, in 2017, and look forward to getting deeper with the group going forward.
Oracle Hysterical is twin brothers Doug Balliett (double bass, viola da gamba) and Brad Balliett (bassoons), Majel Connery (vocals, keyboards), Elliot Cole (vocals, guitars, keyboards), and Dylan Greene (percussion). Part band, part book club, Oracle Hysterical combines eclectic musical influences with literary breadth. All members of the group perform and compose, with each project developed collectively.
Oracle’s works occupy the fluid space between classically-inclined song-cycle and art-rock concept album. The group’s songwriting illuminates fragments of great literary works like a child in a dark forest with a flashlight. Text sources have ranged from Grimms’ Fairy Tales to Greek tragedy, and falsely-attributed Shakespeare, all in collections of songs that distill centuries-old writing through a unique contemporary lens.
The group’s newest project, Hecuba, will be released on the National Sawdust Tracks label on May 11, 2018. Hecuba is a lush and experimental rock-leaning album based on Euripides’ tragedy of the same name. Written around 424 BCE in Athens, Hecuba is a savage story of revenge in which the disgraced queen of Troy, Hecuba, with her city razed and her children murdered, descends from nobility to primal violence.
Other touring projects include The Sea, a collaboration with the Grammy-nominated orchestra A Far Cry, which commissioned and premiered the work at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2016. In the song-cycle, Oracle Hysterical weaves music from texts by history’s greatest seafarers, explorers, and aquatic fabulists, from Shakespeare to Homer, and John Donne to the Book of Jonah. In 2017, Oracle Hysterical collaborated with period-instrument ensemble New Vintage Baroque on Passionate Pilgrim. The album, released on Naxos/Vision into Art, was called “music that is unstuck in time” by the Wall Street Journal, and what it would sound like if “Belle and Sebastian were to cut a record of Baroque-inspired folk songs,” by the New Yorker.
Ongoing projects include Cleopatra with the Metropolis Ensemble, and The Brothers Grimm with New Vintage Baroque. Oracle has appeared at the MATA Festival, the Berkshire Fringe Festival, The Stone (NYC), The Hideout (Chicago), (Le) Poisson Rouge (NYC), National Sawdust (NYC), the Toledo Museum of Art, and at the Lucerne Festival Academy, where they were Spotlight Artists in 2011.