*The Following Press Release Was Issued By Clandestine PR*
Office Culture Premieres Contemplative New Single “Little Reminders” via Under The Radar
From Third Album Big Time Things Out Now via Northern Spy
RIYL: Prefab Sprout, The Blue Nile, Joni Mitchell, Scott Walker, Lewis Taylor, Talk Talk, Destroyer, Fresh Pepper, ECM Records
Office Culture (Theo Cote)
“an airy work of beauty, infused with strands of lush harmony, vintage orchestral arrangements, and the lilting feel of singer/songwriters like Sondre Lerche or Destroyer. The track sways within a sea of melancholic vocals, sun-lit strings and contemplative keys, crafting a siren call into a haze of nostalgic memory. ” – Under The Radar
Office Culture — the Brooklyn, NY-based band featuring pianist-songwriter Winston Cook-Wilson, guitarist Ian Wayne, bassist Charlie Kaplan and drummer Pat Kelly — released “Little Reminders,” the third and final single off their third album Big Time Things released on September 30th, 2022.
“Little Reminders” describes a particular sense of déjà vu. Cook-Wilson shared the following with Under The Radar, who premiered the track: “You pass a landmark or overhear a phrase you used to use and suddenly feel re-awakened to a past version of yourself. It can be a really devastating experience to reinhabit old hopes and dreams, even if it passes within a second. You think about what used to make you tick and wonder how much you have really evolved since then.”
Cook-Wilson continues: “The song also makes me think about the weight and stakes that we assign to people and transitional events in our lives, both in the moment and in hindsight—how we saddle people with significance and responsibility, sometimes unfairly and divide our past into invented mini-eras to make sense of where we’ve ended up.”
Big Time Things is a story of crossed wires and missed connections, sleepless nights and scrapped plans. On the third album from Office Culture, the magic is in how every element of their texturally rich, emotionally complex music conjures these same visions. The choruses offer humble pledges (“I only want you to be happy”) and uneasy interruptions (“Stop, I feel nervous”); the band swells and sprawls; the arrangements incorporate strings, horns and backing vocals, suggesting how each moment casts its own shadow.
Office Culture’s most ambitious project is also their most intimate and thematically focused. Where previous albums introduced a vast cityscape of scenery and characters, Big Time Things zooms into each lonely window, so close that it can be difficult to know what exactly we’re looking at. In Cook-WIlson’s hands, it’s not always easy to differentiate love songs from breakup songs, moments of connection from total isolation, forward momentum or a quickening spiral.
The music behind his words suggests the full story lies in the blur. Office Culture have never sounded so dynamic or alive, their music so full of intricate detail and open air. While you can still hear traces of their longtime staples — Joni Mitchell, the Blue Nile, the ECM catalog — Big Time Things expands into new and adventurous territory. Occasionally, it recalls Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters band backing Scott Walker in the 1980s; other times, it feels like D’Angelo’s Voodoo recast as an opera.
As Cook-Wilson sings about feelings that transcend language (“A Word”) and moods that shift too quietly to be registered (“Suddenly”), he seeks to break from any songwriting tradition, following his thoughts to their open-ended conclusions. This approach leads the band to uncharacteristic moments of dissonance, as in the skronking tightrope of “Line” and breakthroughs that glide with newfound grace. In “Elegance,” the band rides a tender, catchy groove, stopping and starting on a dime. As they reach a steady climax, Cook-Wilson looks us in the eyes and offers this wisdom:
Everybody’s got a list to check off but
Nobody knows what they wrote it for
Well, you don’t have to be like that with me baby
Lists never did me any good before
And so, he tears up his lists, looks inward, and follows his heart.
Big Time Things is out now via Northern Spy Records and is available to preorder here.
2. “Big Time Things”
4. “Things Were Bad”
7. “Little Reminders”
8. “A Word”
“sleek music for a cursed place, opulent like a ritzy hotel lounge.” – Pitchfork
“Office Culture spends their best moments… sounding like the most vital lounge-pop act of all time.” –The FADER
“The world has its way of pushing us down different paths, no matter the resistance. “Big Time Things” glosses through the emotional weight of it all. Still, the voyage through major minefields creates a rippling orbit that simultaneously draws others toward us and pushes others away.” – Foxy Digitalis
“Office Culture style is very much its own beast, a singular, twenty-first century take on the smooth sound that acknowledges its influences without wishing to become them.” – Various Small Flames
“Office Culture have arrived at something that speaks to the hurried, worried soul in these times of social malaise and fear of imminent collapse. When Office Culture’s on, there are no worries.” – PopMatters
“there aren’t many bands who are doing anything like this at all.” –The FADER
“Office Culture showcases its aptitude for trouble-free tempos paired with idiosyncratic vocals. The New York band is calling out for our attention and we can’t help but listen.” –NPR Music