19-year-old Kylie Odetta is a rising musical talent, who incorporates the magical mixture of pop/jazz and R&B into her sound. She has been taking piano lessons and mastering the instrument since she was 6, by 12 she has been recording her own material, and as of 2017, she has under her belt experiences from hundreds of shows that include slots for Gavin DeGraw, Colbie Callait and Mat Kearny.
In 2016, she released the High Dreamer EP, which accesses R&B sensibilities with Odetta’s sultry vocals.
In her latest offerings, Undertow, similarly follows the trajectory of those bluesy ballads as well as enlisting a funky jazzy twist to the blues enthused ensemble.
“Sunny Day” opens up with a great retro and funky vibe. The track has a jazzy/pop flair to it that with its pop connotations gives off a bright, sunny approach to Odetta’s silk encased vocals. The song is great to listen to and its fresh bent gives off blazing piano melodies accompanied by electronic beats and an underlining brass section. Here, Odetta showcases her unique style that is contagious as well as catchy.
The next track, “You Don’t Love Me” has a bluesy vibe to it that with Odetta’s sultry vocals gives off a fiery attachment. Her trailblazing, mellow sound here paves the way to some soulful connotations. The sorrowful lyrics, which encompassed with Odetta’s vocals create a haunting sensibility. The mournful vibe with its piano accompaniments is joined in by the guitar and bass sections. Odetta’s bluesy vocals really carries in this song. It is a ballad filled with a melancholy sweetness.
The title-track, “Undertow,” has an R&B vibe to it that with its bluesy aesthetic and smooth vocals really makes for a soothing track. You will definitely drown in the engrossing and mellow music.
“STRESS” has a piano melody that really bleeds through and makes this into a vibrant composition. Its bouncy beat that has R&B and blues running underneath the gamut of this song also has electronic beats expressively punctuating the rest of the track. The sounds of the saxophone trails throughout the song as well with its urgent and pressing sound. This is a persuasive song that talks about how there is hope even in a failing relationship even though it is bringing everyone involved down.
“When You Come” is a quiet ballad that definitely breaks it down with sparse instrumentation. Here, the simplicity of the track really showcases Odetta’s powerful vocal range. This has to be my favorite track with its bluesy and R&B vibe that incorporates an indie-pop twist. There is a stellar electric guitar sound with great finger-work on the piano being overlaid, here, on this rocking song.
“You Cannot Have Your Way” is the next last song on the album and is a track that vocalizes with heart-breaking urgency about a hapless affair on the verge of breakup. Odetta’s voice embraces the sound through blues hazed vocals. There is a great drumming backbeat to the track with a moving piano melody and powerful guitar harmonies. The overall structure of the song is very engaging.
Adding to the gems already on Undertow, Odetta gives us better insight into her music by giving listeners another rare treat. On the bonus track, “Battleground,” this acoustic song with its sparse arrangement simply incorporates Odetta’s vocals and acoustic guitar. This modest composition really marks the duress of the lyrics through sheer undressed vocals and the sole complementing resources of the acoustic guitar.
Kylie Odetta’s young and refreshing perspective really pinpoints these raw and introspective songs and puts them in the pop and R&B spotlight. The compilations of songs on her latest, Undertow, secures her spot on the indie-pop and blues charts. This release shows her undeniable spirit that stresses going against all the glitter and glimmer from the popular sector of music and going on her own path toward her own unique style. As Kylie Odetta cultivates her sound toward her own outlook on how her own music should be, this all culminates into a great retro blues and pop sound that gets showcases on Undertow. 8/10