30 Sep 2020
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Otium - EP Review: You

03 Oct 2018 // A review by Peter-James Dries

I’m usually reluctant to go too deep into music that on the surface seems shallow, or popular. Reading that this was reggae/funk hybrid band that sung on love initially made me shrivel.

But then I found a moment to listen to Otium’s two-track You, featuring the songs For You and With You and since then it’s been on repeat. For the past two days and counting…

If these guys aren’t famous yet, they soon will be.

There is nothing more mused on in art than love. It’s a multifaceted, subjective, and intangible emotion but something we all feel in some way at some point in our lives. It makes songs about love relatable and being about to relate makes songs more listenable.

Love is the focus of this EP (or single(s) depending on your understanding of how long either format should be) and each track speaks and feels of a different type of love.

There’s almost a diametric contrast between both the vibe of two songs, and the two types of love portrayed here. One comes from familiarity, the other from the new, that falling in love stage.

For You reflects a more… almost romantic, but erring on the side of appreciative, kind of love. It’s a slow heart-warmer of a song, a reflection of the lyrics. It’s the more relatable for me, if only because I’m more about quiet reflection, and less about burning off the worries of the week dancing.

And because With You is more about club love. Those fleeting emotional connections you feel with strangers on the dance floor. That primal, instinctual attraction. Appropriately, the music is funky and danceable. Perfectly suited to be danced to in a club or a gig. That means this song has more mainstream appeal. Is this on the radio yet? It should be.

Layered, and more complex than one would expect from something that on the surface just seems like another pop song. Like our nation, this music is a melting pot of style and genre. Not just rap, not just reggae, not just rock, and not funk, but elements of all of these things. It’s the kind of bridge we need in these dichotomy obsessed end times. Racism, sexism, classism; where is the love and humanism?

The two tracks presented on You show Otium aren’t just a one trick pony, defined and restricted by one style. It’s a good reflection of the diversity of the band and I think that’s what’s going to make them popular. Here’s hoping for a full release one day so we can really see how talented and diverse Otium are.


Review written by Peter-James Dries

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Otium

Emerging from the small town of Whangarei, comes a new generation of musicians and artists. Otium’s core members have been performing together since they were in their early teens during high school, accumulating knowledge, driving their passion and perfecting their craft from a young age. Over the past three years they have expanded across the Northland circuit and have forged a reputation of being one of Northland’s most unique, dynamic and exciting live acts in the region, with influences of Reggae, Funk, Rock, Ska and Pop they have managed to create a significant sound in their music.

Since forming in 2014 they have been able to create a fantastic opening set and have been invited to share the stage with top class acts such as Katchafire, Jordan Luck, L.A.B. (Kora Brothers), The Herbs and upcoming artists such as Brendon Thomas and The Vibes, Ocean Alley and Strangely Arousing.

Their, ever-changing, sonically rewarding and exponentially growing repertoire of music is consistently enjoyed by all those who have witnessed it live and listened across all media platforms. With an average age of 20 streaming across the group, expect to see big things from these young men as they continue to take New Zealand by storm.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Otium

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