Odette Comes of Age on 'Herald'

BY Urbi KhanPublished Feb 3, 2021

Australian singer-songwriter Odette soars in her sophomore release with Herald. Throughout the album's 11-tracks, she explores themes of love, identity and heartbreak through a self-critical and personal lens, like diary entries to her present self. Informed by her mixed identity with British and Zulu heritage, Herald is a coming-of-age album, where she sheds her past self and creates the new out of the ashes. 

Herald displays growth from Odette's equally confessional debut album, 2018's To a Stranger. Unlike her previous album, Herald longs less for what once was and what could have been, instead focusing on what is happening in the present. Odette still yearns on tracks like "What I Know Is Not Enough" and "Foghorn," but with hope for a better future, while "I Miss You, I'm Sorry" and "Amends" finds her releasing the toxicity of adolescence.

Sonically, the album takes flight with orchestral strings, brass and woodwind arrangements intertwined with electronic elements. While Herald largely sits in line with other rising bedroom pop artists like Joy Crookes, Arlo Parks and Celeste, the album also makes bold experiments that pay off. Spoken-word track "Feverbreak," featuring the Australian electronic duo Hermitude, recalls the work of rapper Kae Tempest, while sound collage of "Amends" includes found sounds of insects and magpies, giving the track a perfect Aussie touch. 

On Herald, Odette embraces life's highs and the lows, all for the sake of the song.

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