Odelet begets the rise of modern experimental blues in latest tracks

Experimental blues is a genre virtually untapped. The meshing of the indescribable and otherworldly, highly personalized, gut-led music creation fusing rhythm, blues, and gospel: it’s music built on pure feeling and belief. This is the musical practice of genre-fusing R&B artists like Odelet: a creator out of Detroit, Michigan. In one of her latest tracks “Fires I Lit” (a song off of her newest album The Angels) she adopts a sort of Cocteau Twins persona, delving into some uniquely avant-garde lyricism. Her voice swirls in tones vaguely forming words, and an organ and drumkit keep a strange semblance of time around her. Letting vocal tone and timbre lead the way, the trained jazz singer leaves space for listeners to dream.

The now Bay Area-based Odelet has always been more than just a singer. To accompany her latest album, she also produced an award-winning short film (named after her production company Everlasting Tape) exploring the intersection of visual art and audio. “Everlasting Tape Vol.1,” is just one part of a series of song-length episodes compiled into a short documentary. To date, the first film has already been selected for screening in more than 40 film festivals internationally and has won 16 awards, including four for best original song or score.

A portion of Odelet’s unique sound and artistry could be attributed to her unconventional upbringing. Growing up, her world was split between visits with her father (a Detroit-based Motown and funk lover) and her California-based step-dad (a lover of old-world country who worked as a lyricist.) The musical influence of the two led to her own infatuation with art, and when she grew older she went to study visual arts in Portland. While there, she met other similar inspired artists and often used her voice to help others create their own projects. From folk harmonizing to wailing on punk records, her unique experiences with genre led her to release her very first album titled Experiment.

A few years down line, Odelet’s latest album is more focused on her own love for soul and R&B, some of her first loves. To ensure full creative control over her vision, she constructed her own company Everlasting Tape Productions for this very project in an effort to mimic some of the recording techniques of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Much of the tracking for the album was done in Oakland, CA, with nearly all instrumentation played by Odelet herself. Keep up with this budding artist on her website and social media for more and listen to her song “Fires I Lit” for yourself below!

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