In March 2017, we proclaimed that Spanish singer-songwriter Odina was “(o)ne of the more remarkable, young talents to arrive on the indie scene in the past twelve months”. She has just released the stunning single, “Why’d You Make Me Cry”, which exhibited Odina’s maturity and imaginative storytelling. Major music sites and taste-makers, such as Clash, NYLON, and The Line of Best Fit, took notice. In the process, she’s been compared to Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten, and Joanna Newsom. All are heavyweights of the indie world and among the finest songwriters of the 21st Century. While the praise is indeed heady, she demonstrates that she belongs in the company of these great with her fabulous sophomore EP, Nothing Makes Sense.
Seventeen minutes have never sounded so mesmerizing or stunning. The EP is sonically enchanting and breathtaking, yet lyrically it is emotional and hard-hitting. Two versions of “I’m Not Asking” bookend the record with the opener taking the form of a mythical folklore number. The slight finger plucks of the acoustic guitar with the shallow blows of horns create the mysticism of an enchanted forest. Through it walks a solitary being, who says one last goodbye to her partner and tells him to move on. As her gorgeous vocals gently soar, Odina says through the mist:
“I’m not asking for anything out of the blue.
I don’t want you to
Be the one to pull me through.
I just want you to be happy,
Every step of the way.
When I’m in this shiny valley,
When I’m walking in the rain.”
The closer features Odina sitting alone at the piano. Despite its more minimalist composition, “I’m Not Asking” still is moving and powerful. If heard within the Royal Albert Hall, every audience member’s attention would be fixated at the young woman on stage. Nothing, not even a breath, would be heard other than her instrument and voice.
A cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” follows. Although this classic has been performed countless times, Odina brings a refreshingly solemn approach and graceful spirit to it. Her rendition, as such, makes the song flow seamlessly within the EP musically. Lyrically, too, the song fits perfectly within the concept of self-love, second chances, and hope.
Soft horns return on the dazzling “Nothing Makes Sense”, which is heartbreak disguised as lost of self. Immediately, Odina strikes right at the heart when she says, “I don’t love you anymore, maybe I don’t love myself”. This web of confusion and uncertainty circles throughout the song, as Odina admits that questions that have no answers constantly fill her mind. The concluding sixty seconds are simply gorgeous.
Even more spellbinding is “I’ll Carry You”. It is Julien Baker merged with Bon Iver, and the result is jaw-dropping spectacular. It is a musical marvel only surpassed by the strength of Odina’s words. She reminds us that we are not alone, and there is always someone there to make us “feel special”. That person is Odina, who has proven in a short period of time she is one of the most exciting artists around. A young talent who has a chance to do something extremely special.
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