Oddnesse’s new single “All American Lie” encourages us to face the music and challenge the institutional conventions that we’ve internalized as “American”. It seems that there is a direct correlation between the track’s themes and the way that Oddnesse flips folk music, a cultural touchstone of 1960s America, right on its head. Through layers of bubblegum electronic harmonics and shoegaz-ey production, the band achieves a contemporary interpretation on what it means to be radical, as well as what radical art looks like.
Perhaps it is also inherently in the name – Oddnesse rhyming with “God Bless” (as they always note) – that the group, specifically lead singer-songwriter Rebeca Arango, begs the question of what it means to be an American. Arango, a native of New Jersey and daughter of South American immigrants, grew up listening to 60’s icons ABBA and Neil Diamond. Her musical influences undisputedly radiate through Oddnesse’s lyrics and sound, but through the lens of a second-generation American. As a grassroots, second-coming civil rights movement (that echoes the contentions of the 1960s) resurfaces across the country, Oddnesse’s revival of folk is no coincidence.
Being a millenial in 2020 means balancing the incessant struggle of extreme productivity and self-worth. Oddnesse resounds this sentiment with “All American Lie”.
Arango eloquently divulged,“This song came from the gut-wrenching experience of facing my own personal denial. For years I lied to myself, thinking I was okay to self-compromise in the name of productivity, status or success. The American dream. I oversubscribed to values of “positive thinking,” “not complaining,” and “being of service” just to keep my soul in golden handcuffs where I thought I was safest. Zooming out, the song speaks to a larger spiritual dissonance of an entire culture wanting to run away with the parade rather than face the fire.”
Indeed, being an artist in such a hyper-digital world, where every second of our time is monetized, plagues our brains with severe anxiety.
Find truth to power in “All American Lie”, out now and available for streaming on Spotify. The band, featuring Eddie Rivera (bass, guitar) and Lauren Kinney (keys, back-up vocals) plays live shows and occasionally in-studio, while the magic is brought to life by producer Grey Goon. Catch Oddnesse live at Love Song Bar on March 9th.
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Words: Jenna Dorn