Austrian-Icelandic duo Oehl’s ‘Über Nacht’ has an addictive melody that hides a deep sadness

The Austrian-Icelandic duo Oehl released their latest single last month.

Called ‘‘Über Nacht‘ or ‘Overnight‘, it is the third single from Oehl, and is one I’ve had on repeat since I heard it on Austrian radio FM4 earlier in the week.

Because ‘Über Nacht‘, with its slow sway of a dance beat and pretty melody hiding the devastating current of sadness running underneath, is immediately addictive the first time you hear it.

Über Nacht’ or ‘Overnight’?

It is always interesting to me when I hear other Austrian artists say they don’t like singing in German because, according to them, the language isn’t ‘pretty’ or is ‘difficult to handle’ in a song.

And, sure, I know putting out German language songs pretty much means most Austrian artists are then relegated to only selling their music in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, (which with a total of almost 99 million people, actually isn’t too shabby).

Yet, there are so many beautiful contemporary German songs I think would not have anywhere near the same emotional impact if the artist had revamped them into English.

Oehl’s ‘Über Nacht’ is one of them.

Because doesn’t that German title sound so much more soul-wrenchingly sad than if it had been replaced with the heavy, stodgy English ‘Overnight’?

When you think that, even traveling’ über Nacht’ as fast as you can during that quiet and peaceful but often urgent time between nightfall and daybreak, it will still never be possible to be back with that person you cared about.

That is some of what Oehl is saying with ‘Über Nacht’, as it references the death of a close friend, and how the distance between them is now unbridgeable.

Oehl, by the way, is Austrian songwriter Ariel Oehl, and Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Hjörtur Hjörleifsson.

And me, with my distinct lack of German skills causing me to still struggle somewhat with the correct pronunciation of Oehl wonders, did they flip a coin to see whose surname they would use for their newly formed duo?

Because, I don’t know about you, but I think Hjörleifsson could have been a winner! ;‑)

(**And a quick clarification here — With the above comment, I’m making fun of myself and my own terrible non-English language skills and not Oehl, Ariel or Hjörtur. Because personally, I think Oehl is a killer band name. It’s just that me and my lazy British ass need someone to help me pronounce it! 🙂 )

Listen to Oehl’s ”Über Nacht‘ in the video below, and then come back to me in a week and tell me you no longer have that gorgeous song on repeat. Because, honestly, I don’t think I’ll believe you.

(Oh and yep, the duo’s first two singles ‘Keramik‘ and Neue Wildnis‘ are just as addictive).

If you want to learn more about Oehl, and both Ariel and Hjörtur sound like very interesting people, so you should, there is a lovely interview with Ariel Oehl at Music Austria.

It’s in German, but Google Translate does a decent job.

You can follow the duo on Instagram, Facebook, on Spotify and at their website.

Related Reading: We’ve interviewed/covered/raved about a lot more talented Austrian artists here — check them out!

And clicking Conchita, will get you almost 700 articles. But you really don’t want to go down that rabbit hole, do you?

About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered K-drama, K-pop, J-pop and music news for over a decade.