Do you like music that mixes electronic, jazz, ambience, future-pop and R&B elements? You do? Splendid, because I have just the release for you. Today, I’m talking about after it all blew over, from the artist otta. She’s a British-Finnish artist, and an incredibly talented writer, singer and producer.
‘Near Enough A Woman’ starts off quite upbeat in nature, before otta starts singing. Lyrically it’s quite bleak and the way otta pronounces each word in her distinct English accent adds to the gloomy quality of the song. It’s a very eccentric, melancholic pop song. Quite glitchy at times, featuring pulsing kicks, electronic elements and a jazzy outro.
The next song is probably my favourite—the masterful ‘small hours’. Musically it appears quite upbeat, but lyrically it’s quite the opposite. In the song, she refers to someone, possibly her ex-lover as “baby” and “scumbag”, lyrics repeated throughout. It’s quite sad as she sings about getting used to sleeping alone and wanting her lover to come back. As the song goes on, the tone of her voice gets bleaker and bleaker. It starts out soulful, but by the end, she seems drained.
otta has such a distinctive, soulful voice. Her background vocals and harmonies are wonderful, perfectly placed. She draws you in with each word she sings. The song’s arrangement is very unique, even more so than the first track. It uses different filters for the vocals, along with keys/synth, and a soulful yet melancholic guitar. It’s a perfect piece of melancholia.
What I find most impressive is that otta wrote, recorded, produced, and engineered most of this release. Additional production and mixing were done by Warp Records/[PIAS] producer Kwes. Above all, It just goes to show how talented she is, it’s admirable.
‘the otherside’ and ‘everything you wanted’ are quite similar—and quirky. Quite soulful and original in their sounds, minimal at times and dreamy. ‘the otherside’ is quite futuristic in nature, while ‘everything you wanted’ is very glitchy. It has quite a sudden, intense outro before quickly calming down—a very catchy piece of music.
Lastly, I’d like to talk about ‘after it all blew over’, which is more of an interlude, but is, nonetheless, one of the EP highlights. I wish this would have been a longer song as it leaves me wanting more. Musically it’s a blend of multiple genres with possibly the best arrangement on the record. The double-layered vocals are unsettling, it’s a song with a dark ambience, hints of jazz and a controlled sense of chaos which borders on chaotic. It’s quite cinematic really. I could imagine this song being used in a James Bond movie after a series of chaotic events, it’s that good and would suit it perfectly. The EP was already impressive, but this track brought it up another notch.
It’s hard to believe this is just an EP, because it’s an extraordinary release with its own distinct sound. The arrangements are quirky but well structured. If this is a taster of what’s to come, we could be looking at one of the most musically diverse records of the year, or possibly the decade. Go out of your way to listen to this. otta is certainly an artist to watch out for in 2020.
after it all blew over will be out via BOKKLE on January 24.