27 Nov 2014
Album Review: Odessey & Oracle "& The Casiotone Orchestra"
Reviewed by Nathan Ford
There's been a surprising, but noticeable resurgence in baroque pop lately. I find it strangely comforting in this day of i-phones and IDM, that there are an increasing number of young folk reaching for oboes and harpsichords to decorate their tunes. One such group of young folks is the Lyon based trio of Fanny L'Heritier, Alice Baudoin, and Guillaume Medioni, trading under the name of Odessey & Oracle.
You could be forgiven for assuming a case of influence being worn on one's sleeve. The truth of the matter however, is that while the Zombies and other sixties baroque-poppers have provided some noticeable inspiration here, Odessey & Oracle are inspired by the freedom that the late sixties represented, and rather than being restricted by revivalism, have appropriated and updated that sense of daring spirit. This allows for a wider range of influences which include artists as diverse as Bach, the Dirty Projectors , Brian Wilson , White Noise , Moondog and Robert Wyatt. Recorded with the help of a dozen musical accomplices (the titular Casiotone Orchestra), the results are an impressively, and often exhaustingly, varied selection of songs which will likely leave your head reeling. One moment it's a gorgeous piece of baroque pop balladry, then it's chamber strings, and a moment later, electro-pop.
This restless approach does require a few listens to allow the listener to adjust to its scope, but ensures that surprises continue to present themselves at an alarming and seemingly never-ending rate.
Not one for those looking for baroque pop in the strictly traditional, retro sense then, but the adventurous listener with an ear for the ornate will find this contemporary update to be both rewarding and surprising.
Hear a five track sampler here: