Interview: Odyssey S

Written for Frooty Magazine, Issue #3, published 21 August 2019.

Newcomer Odyssey S hit the Australian music scene last week with their debut single, Even When We Let It Go. At first glance, listeners are hit with a nostalgic episode of dream-like tracks reminiscent of Owl City, Flume, and Cub Sport before sliding into a heart-felt declaration of acceptance we’ll all find ourselves singing in the shower. To congratulate Odyssey S for their hard work, Frooty Magazine caught them for a chat about where they come from, where their dreams are taking them, and what they want listeners to feel after hearing their music.

Despite having lived in The States, Odyssey S firmly refers to themself as a Melbournian. Here they’re better known as Josh Shore: self-proclaimed ‘queer’, ‘gay’, and ‘non-binary’ bedroom producer and indie music personality. And it was here they began their journey into music with a crowd of queer friends to cheer them on.

‘It happened pretty incidentally I’d say. I just bought a guitar one day and was like “yeah I’ll try this. Why not?” A year later I found myself performing at open mics. Stuff like that.’

Music wasn’t their first choice, however, with the artist mourning a career in dancing they saw cut short by illness. Like true silver linings, Odyssey S tells us it was this tragedy that ultimately lead them to music.

‘When I was seventeen, I got really sick and couldn’t study dance anymore. And dance was a huge part of my life, so I needed something to fill that gap. Music became that thing.’

A year and a half ago, they chose to take their music to the next level and began recording their songs with Stuart Le Brander (Evangeline). Last week we saw the fruits of their labour with Even When We Let It Go, but are told to expect more soon as Odyssey S finishes recording and polishing a full album. Melbournians are the ones to be jealous of, however, as Odyssey S continues to perform live gigs across Melbourne.

‘I’ve done more performances than I have recordings. I performed at local cafes and pubs to start with. Then, with uni, I ended up doing some gigs at Gasometer and bigger venues like that.’

Odyssey S says they want to elicit a response in their listeners based on real stories. They say they awoke to queer culture through the work of Sam Smith and Troye Sivan, and hope listeners relate to their music in kind. They keep their lyrics uncomplicated, personal, and relevant to everyone. They want listeners to know the words.

Even When We Let It Go had us bopping instantly with its perfect pop tone and smooth vocals critics compare to Ruel, Cub Sport, and Dean Lewis. We asked Odyssey S where they get their inspiration and where they see themselves sitting in the Australian music scene.

‘I do sound a bit like Ruel and Cub Sport. But my biggest music influences are people like Flume, Coldplay, and Vera Blue: some of the bigger electronic acts I find to be the biggest writing inspiration. It’s just so tight, the pop they write. So perfect.’

You can listen to Odyssey S’s debut single Even When We Let It Go via their Soundcloud now, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date on their future performances.

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