photos by Chad Syme
You know a bands is mysterious, yet fetching when every review and biography you can find barely scratches the surface of the incandescence that their music casts. Like sitting beside a brilliantly bold and wild fire on the freshest of winter days Odawa’s music washes over you, gracing you with their gifts of light and warmth. Setting out to brand their own howl and whistle in the American scene their particular humming and clattering provided my mind with visceral images of train rides across the patchwork quilt lands of our midlands with the track “The Ice.” During this track the harmonica is both the narrator and a haunted observer. Before you notice the actually singing and speaking tongues of the band you notice the different dialects and soliloquies of the instruments. This is where the bands’ strength comes from that has placed them within one of the most respected labels on the scene, Jagjauwar, home to Bon Iver, Okkervil River and Sunset Rubdown. With his guitar speaking heartbreaking volumes of emotion before he even whispers a sound, singer Michael Tapscott is a double headed snake, a precise weapon in two forms. Whereas his guitar is gentle and cautious his voice is chilling and brave. Isaac Edwards is a wizard of electronic sound, presiding over vintage keyboards and eerie waves of movement that wash from one edge of the song into the next leaving the listener feeling refreshed and alive. Compared to the iconic sage, Neil Young the Odawas are currently preparing for their upcoming album release, The Blue Depths, which will hit shelves on February 17th. This will be the Odawas’ third full length record, following the EP, Vitamin City (2004), The Aether Eater (2005)-their first full length release, and their most recent accomplishment, Raven and the White Night (2007). Stumbling into the opening months of 2009 the Odawas represent the best of what a new year can provide us with, inspiration, hope and joy.