Year in Pop: 2016

Sjimon Gompers

Proudly presenting some select highlights and standouts from this year's Week in Pop: 2016 features with our annual Year in Pop review edition; photograph by Sjimon Gompers.

Oddnesse

Introducing the odyssey & the oracle of Oddnesse; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Introducing the odyssey & the oracle of Oddnesse; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Oddnesse dropped the addictive single “Somewhere Somehow” that closes out one of the most trying years in recent memory with a high note to dream & wish upon. The artist looks into that air of space & place where everyone expects something of everyone as Oddnesse delivers an honest expression & audio illustration of the human experience.

“Somewhere Somehow” is a song that seeks to satisfy & describe the particulars of both the awkward & the ineffable through earnest expressions. Oddnesse takes over the entire event with narratives that pull from previous experiences and conversations misunderstood or understand that carry on through what feels like alternate existences. Those exchanges missed or mishandled surface once again in the consciousness as Oddnesse illustrates as much of the inner felt arena in a brilliant & genuine arrangement worthy of a million plus listens. Oddnesse penned the following exclusive intro for her wild new single with the following words:

“Somewhere Somehow”

I’ve never been too committed to any particular style of music, but I’ve always been obsessed with painfully beautiful melodies, especially when harmonies are involved. While I do enjoy “highbrow” shit, I also have a high tolerance for cheesiness in music (Abba, Aerosmith, Elvis) as long as it’s beautiful and carries some kind of emotional weight that moves me on some level. I also have a tremendous respect for simplicity and am more of a restrained person both aesthetically and in mood/temperament, and that creates a certain tension (that confuses some people), which I think is very present in this song.

This was one of those magic songs that came out effortlessly one day in the studio almost exactly as it was meant to be. Everything everyone did felt right from the get go. We were all excited about the track and the lyrics came right out with the melody, no cross outs, few rewrites. Later when we tried to add to it and polish it, that just didn’t work, so eventually we came full circle as we pushed for it to be more like the demo, grittier and simpler and more concise. Not too over-the-top, not too grandiose.

Lyrically the song is about self-acceptance and recognizing you deserve better or want different even though you know you’re not perfect. It can be an uncomfortable decision to make, to say no to something that’s okay but good enough. The last time I saw the guy I wrote this song about was the night before the session. I set my intention and he went away. And that’s a good thing. I write myself as the heroine, because that’s how I choose to see my life, even in wake of the disappointing results of my romantic endeavors. I know I’ll make the best of them.

Also keep the holiday season vibe flowing sweetly with Oddnesse’s cover of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa”. The classic xmas standard gets slowed down to create that sublime feel that stirs within even the coldest of curmudgeons during this solstice of snow, ice, sleet & freezing temperatures. Oddnesse introduced the cover with the following exclusive insights:

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”

I made this four years ago around Christmas of 2012. I had nothing to do and was involved in no particular music project at the time but still periodically would spend entire days at the computer alone making songs. It was around the holidays and there was nothing to do. I think I was alone in my apartment in Downtown LA, on Seventh and Spring Street. It was a loft that faced a deep light well on the fourth floor, very cavernous. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is a very bizarre song and apparently I felt the need to highlight that. I imagine I heard it out on the street somewhere and I felt this strange re-harmonization of it and was compelled to realize it. I had a really good time making it. I don’t even think I was stoned. When I was done I sent it to maybe four of my friends via email and that was it. It was my Christmas card. The subject was “Merry Creepmas!”

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