Some bands create music to fit a genre. Others, like San Francisco-based Odd Owl, create a genre to fit their music. “It’s pretty hard for us to make music that isn’t honest about who we are,” says Caruso, Odd Owl’s lead singer and keyboardist. “What we create is just an extension of our musical experiences, it’s not some role we’re trying to play. Besides,” she laughs, “I’ve never been very good at acting anyways.” Said to “produce some incredible new era indie music” [Br00d, Neighbors Hate Us], the group’s members have fused their musical influences together into their own brand of “indie dance-rock,” drawing from genres such as chamber pop, funk, lo-fi, and alternative dance.
Caruso, a classically-trained vocalist with a master’s in electro-acoustic music, brings an affinity for funk, 60s pop, and vocal harmony in order to create melodies “that people can put in their pocket and take home with them.” Not your usual frontwoman, she also records and produces the band’s albums, provides song arrangements, and tinkers with music technology, using a MIDI controller which connects to her laptop on stage. Jacobsen, a self-taught guitarist and also a prolific songwriter, adds Talking Heads-inspired guitar hooks to the mix as well as his love for wordplay. Drummer Adam Wadenius, in his attention to rhythmic detail, adds subtle, rhythmic shifts “so that the listener won’t see what’s coming next,” which keeps their live sound moving dynamically. And Munoz, Odd Owl’s bassist, is also a musical Swiss Army knife, playing guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, lap steel, harmonica, jaw harp, mandolin, and even spoons.
Originally a duo between Caruso and Jacobsen, Odd Owl became a full band only last January. Since then, they have been voted SF Deli’s Artist of Month, been featured on San Francisco’s independent Mutiny Radio, and released a new single, “Some People Are Spaceships”. Plans for a full-length album are in the works, as well as a tour of the northwest this november, with a closing show at Seattle’s reputed Nectar Lounge. The members of Odd Owl may not know what lies ahead for them, but one’s things for sure: they have definitely found something truly special. Bassist Stephen Munoz, the newest member of the group, puts it this way, “The first band I ever joined was as a bass player. I never played the bass before. I had to borrow one from my sister's boyfriend. I was 19. I played the bass because I wanted so much to be in a band. Since then I've joined many bands...singing, touring, traveling the world and sharing music. But, not until I met Odd Owl did I pick up the bass again. I became a bass player once again because I so much wanted to be in this band.”
The bands two EPs, Fly By Night and It’s the World I Love, as well as a free download of their new single “Some People Are Spaceships” are currently available at http://store.oddowlmusic.com.