Composer-collective Oracle Hysterical celebrates the group’s newest project, Hecuba, an experimental rock-leaning album based on Euripides’ tragedy of the same name. The album will be released on National Sawdust Tracks, the in-house record label formerly known as VIA Records that presents a carefully curated selection of new music from bold voices.
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.
Oracle Hysterical is made up of 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, with all members of the group contributing as both performers and composers.
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.