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Premiere: Brother Oliver – “Washed Up”

Stephen and Andrew Oliver of Brother Oliver, 2023.

Greenville, SC-based folk rock outfit Brother Oliver are back with a new single, “Washed Up,” which we’re happy to premiere today on Extra Chill.

“Washed Up” is the first single from Brother Oliver since breaking the world record for longest marathon playing mandolin. Yes, you read that correctly. Stephen Oliver of Brother Oliver holds the Guinness World Record for the longest running marathon playing mandolin.

Listen to “Washed Up” by Brother Oliver below, and keep reading to learn more about the song and the record-breaking mandolin marathon.

Brother Oliver – “Washed Up”

In December of 2022, Stephen Oliver played his mandolin for 27 hours, 8 minutes and 33 seconds straight. This broke the previous record of 26 hours and 41 minutes, which had been held by Kuntal Raj Chakrabortty since 2017.

Brother Oliver has created a feature film that documents the Guinness World Record attempt, titled How To Break A World Record, and have been premiering it at film festivals around the Southeast. An official release is soon to follow.

The track, “Washed Up,” is cryptic and touched with nostalgia, leaning on a groove set by the group’s bassist George Sweet. It strips back Brother Oliver’s intricately-layered folk rock style down to an essence of lighthearted rock music, with influences that sound a lot like early Wilco to me.

“We wanted this song to be sonically nostalgic, like something you’d hear on the radio in the late 90s or early 2000s. Fewer frills and layers—just the sound of a 4-piece band rocking out together, taking a less is more approach,” says lead singer Andrew Oliver.

The mandolin marathon brought chatter around the web, including on the popular forum Mandolin Cafe. While Brother Oliver have never been a bluegrass or traditional group, breaking a record on the mandolin is sure to attract some attention from the bluegrass community, which it did.

“It was cool to see people talking about it,” Andrew says. “In general, we had a ton of people reaching out about the whole spectacle of the record and the film. We knew people would be excited about it, but it hit harder than we even expected. People really love world records, apparently.”

Stay tuned for news on the release of How To Break A World Record, and Brother Oliver on the road in 2024.