Photo by Stephen Archer
Origins is a recurring new music feature in which an artist charts the influence of their latest hit single.
Though the brainchild behind Oddnesse, Rebeca Arango, hails from Hoboken, New Jersey, the project was conceived in Los Angeles when she met fellow songwriter-producer Grey Goon, aka Doug Walters. After bonding over a shared love of pop hooks and apocalyptic prep, the pair started collaborating on music.
The resulting material pairs intricate, layered grooves with catchy melodies pulled from a variety of influences while Arango’s dreamy vocals pull it all together. Along the way, the project has featured numerous contributors and collaborators, including musicians Casey Feldman, Eddie Rivera, and Lauren Kinney (who all perform in the live band), as well as designer/art director Dexsy Repuyan.
On Oddnesse’s latest single, “I Used To”, there’s a sense of release as a soaring keyboard pairs with Arango’s lyrics about finally letting go of a former lover. “I could get lost in the afternoon,” she sings. “I’ve got no one to answer to/ Here I go again on my own.”
“It started with the keyboard part. Doug (Grey Goon) played it in the studio one day,” Arango shares with Consequence of Sound. “It found it very peaceful and aligned with a kind of freedom I had been enjoying lately. That year I had driven alone from LA to Utah and back twice. I absolutely loved it, in the way I’ve always loved the independence of no one needing me, no one expecting me, no one to confer with about where I might stop, when I might leave, if I might come back. I was grateful on those trips (as one usually is) for the dissolution of a relationship I had been overly attached to. I was grateful that my mind was clear and that I had the experience to myself. I was happy. I didn’t need to know what was next.”
Based on the lovely “I Used To”, what’s next for Oddnesse are big things. Take a listen to the track below.
To highlight the inspirations for “I Used To”, Oddnesse takes Consequence of Sound through the track’s Origins, including White Snake, Broken Social Scene, and spiritual teacher/writer David Deida.
Drives to Utah:
This song started with the synth part Grey Goon (my main producer/collaborator) played on the Juno. It sounded to me, like pure freedom. A clean, empty slate. A bright, infinite expanse. Soooo, soo nice.
The day we wrote the song was maybe a year after my last “big” break-up. In the wake of it, I drove from LA to Utah and back twice, alone. I loved every mile and both nights at the Casablanca Resort Casino in Mesquite. I was grateful to have the experience completely to myself, without anyone to bind me. Pure freedom. Sure, there were stop lights, but I felt free in spirit. It was a dancing-in-the-woods kinda moment.
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”:
I’m not very chatty and rarely divulge juicy info, but Grey Goon will deliberately get me talking before sessions. He used this old-timey expression, “Cat on a hot tin roof,” to encapsulate my description of men I had dated in recent years and said, “You should write about that.” I took it very literally.
White Snake — “Here I Go Again”:
For better or worse, I’ve always identified as a loner. And because my car radio is set to K-Earth 101 (LA’s classic hit radio!), every so often I hop in, turn it on and there’s “Here I Go Again” cued up just for me. I RELISH in the triumphant independence of it all. David Coverdale was letting go of “the promises of yesterday,” and BABY, SO AM I!
Broken Social Scene — “Lover’s Spit”:
Grey Goon and I both devoured a lot of BSS in our day. “Lover’s Spit” is a standout song for most fans, and it came to mind as we were crafting this arrangement. The keyboard part similarly holds two notes throughout the entire track, never letting go. Grey Goon saw a live performance where Kevin Drew actually taped down the notes on a synth and the band played the whole song over it. Our initial vision was to follow their lead and keep the rhythm steady and simmering the whole time, but ultimately I could not resist taking a turn into a nineteen-eighties’ middle-school dance now and then.
David Deida is a spiritual teacher and writer responsible for knocking this concept through my thick human skull: “There’s no such lover who doesn’t betray you someday.” Seems like a big ol’ DUH and yet deep down so many of us go through life not being okay with this. I spent my teen years and early 20s taking romance and break-ups very personally and very seriously. Reading Deida was a big step in my liberation. And liberation is what this song’s all about.
“I Used To” Single Artwork: