A founding member of The xx, Oliver Sim recently began unfurling solo material, building towards a broader project.
‘Hideous Bastard’ is that project; an incoming solo record, it deals with “fear, shame and masculinity” and contains personal revelation.
In a statement, Oliver Sim reveals that he was diagnosed HIV positive at the age of 17, something he has lived with ever since.
He says: “I haven’t written the record to dwell, but rather to free myself of some of the shame and fear that I’ve felt for a long time. So, I hear a lot of the music as joyous, because the experience of writing and recording it has been the complete opposite of what fear and shame have been for me.”
Oliver Sim adds: “A lot of this record is serious on paper, I’ve written a lot about fear, shame and masculinity, but I made these songs as a way of freeing myself. So I see Hideous Bastard as not only self deprecating but also having a lot of joy and humour.”
The full album will be accompanied by a queer horror film, sculpted by Oliver Sim and director Yann Gonzalez.
New single ‘Hideous’ is online now, a song that seems to exemplify that dichotomous relationship between fear and joy, shame and revelation in the wider project.
It also features the vocals of Jimmy Sommerville, who has done so much work on behalf of HIV positive people, and those who have AIDs.
After playing the song to my mum, being the protective and wise mum that she is, she gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received. She suggested that I spend some time having conversations with people in my life first. Either people I hadn’t told yet, or people I had told but hadn’t wanted to talk much further on it with.
Since writing ‘Hideous’, I’ve spent the past two years having those conversations, which was difficult and uncomfortable to start with, but has allowed me to feel a lot freer and has only strengthened my relationship with myself and with the people in my life.