Following the release of her critically acclaimed debut EP ‘after it all blew over‘ released earlier this year, otta is back with a new eight-track E.P titled ‘songbook‘. The new EP plays with a similar approach to genre compared to the last but sonically and lyrically is something entirely different.
The first track of the record “never see” was released back in May 2020 and gives a good taste of the overall sound of the record. “never see” sounds almost like organized chaos but is an emphatically creative form to highlight the importance of self-acceptance. A track otta attributes to “not being able to see the good that’s around you and within you”. The song is short yet sweet with the production of the track bordering on Gorillaz-esque contrasting with otta’s clean-cut, delicate vocals.
On the following track, we hear otta further continue and develop her experimental sound that is consistent throughout this record. “three of us” is minimalistic and soul-stirring mixing elements of lo-fi hip-hop and experimental sound design to craft an extremely personal sonic experience. On hearing of the entire record, it is undoubtedly clear of the raw passion embedded in the songwriting and self-production. This is apparent in tracks such as “i’ll always be the man” and “hope extension” where no two parts sound the same and continue to develop allowing her audience to see a deeper side to her artistry. “hope extension” is particularly emotional with otta tackling themes of lonerism through a self-reflective alternative indie ballad.
On the latter half of the EP, we reach “sick inside” which similar to “never see” was released before the full play. “who am i? i feel sick inside” and “i’m sick of being sad”, otta confesses in this song intertwining her echoing reverberant vocals with gritty electronica. This is closely followed by “no more tears” which features an auto-tuned otta expressing herself through heartfelt lyricism. The track is also extremely percussive starting very downtempo, developing with plenty of change-ups in beat and bounce.
otta has unquestionably developed her unique sound expanding her musical palette through ‘songbook‘. The record carries true raw expression that is reflected in her previous works mixed with a more thoughtful experimental production style, which works well with otta’s emotive voice and lyricism. The concluding track to the record “just like the rain” is one of the most upbeat tracks on the EP marking the culmination of the project. otta’s gliding vocal melody is infectious, spreading a well-needed message of the significance of self-love.
otta remains an artist to watch with ‘songbook’ perfectly showcasing her talent, diversity, and overall musical development.
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