It’s the first time Oddnesse – aka Rebeca Arango and Grey Goon – have graced these pages, but we’re sure it won’t be the last. On Are You Down, she’s charm personified as she nonchalantly asks “do you think you could kick it with me?”. We’re hugely intrigued by the whole project, so we sent Rebeca our Upcoming Q&A to find out more…
First musical memory?
I don’t remember any one particular moment too clearly. I can tell you that my dad liked classical music and my mom liked neil diamond. I was treated to the former in the womb with headphones. I learned hot cross buns on the recorder. I had a casio keyboard and a sony cassette recorder I played around with. I think it was a pretty basic 90s experience. Then, I requested to start playing the harp at age 6 and my very supportive parents obliged. This is what you get for the baby mozart thing, perhaps.
First album you ever bought?
The soundtrack to Grease on cassette. RHCP Californication on on CD. I also remember the first song I ever downloaded on Napster: Sum 41 “Fat Lip.”
Describe your vibe in three words (but then tell us a bit more about how Are You Down came along).
Trying to relax. I had that melody, the one from the beginning, bopping around my head with a different harmonic underpinning for some days. We were in the studio and listening to things we’ve been liking lately. Doug decided to try building a song around that very simple one-note bass groove, which is everywhere in all kinds of music and kind of a go-to for us. Immediately, I put that melody over it. Eddie Rivera pointed out that it sounds kind of like a tune from the musical Cats. The song was build from there, Eddie as well as Casey Feldman contributed many of the additional guitar parts. The song is kind of all over the place but I hope it might serve as an enjoyable world to some.
While we’re here – where did the name “Oddnesse” come from?
I was sitting around in my room and I made it up. I had given up on fishing from the pool of pre-existing words and phrases. To my mind this was a mash-up of “odd” and “finesse,” though I realize “esse” is the suffix so the N has no business being there but I’m a professional copy editor and IDGAF. I thought it sounded like it could be a perfume, or a mythical creature, and denoted an awkward sophistication. These things I like.
An album you would never listen to again?
I wouldn’t rule anything out! You never know where curiosity or necessity might take you. There’s a Saves the Day album I can’t listen to without conjuring up Rollercoaster Tycoon but I still might listen to it. Though the reality is I probably won’t listen to most albums I’ve heard before ever again. Unless I get uploaded into a computer, and live forever, and even then I think there will be too much to get through.
Your inspirations, musical and otherwise?
I’m mentally stimulated by melodies that come into my mind I suspect via the collective consciousness. Another view is that everything I’ve ever heard is available to be rearranged and made new. Often the melodies are discovered in a chord progression but it’s most exciting when they come out of the void, and I can’t know where they’re going. You only get that for a second. Not to get all Michelangelo about it, but it does feel to me that music is just this big invisible shape in time and space and it’s all there for you to carve it out.
What are your current jams?
“Steady Rain” by Warren Zevon, “Super Natural” by Turnover, “No River” by Esme Patterson.
Your dream collaborations?
I’d like to make a perfume with someone.
And finally: Favorite Beyonce song?