Odawas The Blue Depths

Odawas The Blue Depths
Soft rock isn't a genre remembered with fondness but if we're to go by the characteristics found in the music of such artists as Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins and Air Supply, you'd be tempted to put Indianapolis natives Odawas in the same boat. Though they're a good distance away from soft rock's radio friendliness, Michael Tapscott and Isaac Edwards use softened tones, a heavy reliance on placid synthesizing and high vocal pitches in their breezy compositions. It may sound, well, soft, but what this duo achieve isn't actually that far from the hushed, bleeding heart balladry of label-mates Bon Iver. The distinction is in their presentation, which is more in line with the warm resonance of a composer like Vangelis, or the awesome beauty and minimal ambience of Talk Talk's Laughing Stock. Tapscott's voice is the most powerful instrument, burning through the dense layers of reverb, which helps provide a sense of longing that defines Odawas' music. The Blue Depths is a treasure and an album that sounds unlike anything else currently dubbed "new" music. (Jagjaguwar)