There’s nothing like listening to good, jazzy music to warm up a chilly San Francisco November night. A relaxed, chill vibe is exactly what Oddity and their seven-piece band brought with them on the night of our cozy listening party. The East Bay-based group was introduced by DJ Hellena Handbasket of What’s the Moooove?. Hellena Handbasket asked Oddity to describe their Oddisea EP series and the journey they wanted to take us on with their music.

“I wrote these songs know, you can call it coping. You can call it interacting with life,” said Oddity. “In the end, it just all sort of fell into place. But it is a concept album. I be thinking real hard, and I hope it shows.”

Oddity took us on a journey through three shifts of energy that night as they played songs from their three EPs (with part 4 on its way this spring).

Part 1

A soft piano soon digressed into a more upbeat tune to get everyone excited as they started their show with a song called “Somewhere.” Oddity described the song as “nothing but happiness. There’s nothing deep. There’s no substance. It’s just happiness and the facsimile of success and excess that we pretend to frolic in... sorry that’s some Pt. 3 energy my b,” Oddity added with a laugh.

Part one felt like a void; a void that was created as if the artist was giving us a chance to fill that void ourselves. And that’s exactly what I did. Listening to this song made me visualize being in the city, shining lights shimmering in the streets, restaurants busy with chatting customers having a good night. Life is not too hard, not too easy either. It’s just life being life. Whether life is going the way that you expected it to go or you’re just going with the rhythm. Sometimes, we’re doing mediocre in life. Not too good, not too bad, just simply existing.

The song showcased the talents of the musicians playing their instruments as they took solos, too. I was nodding my head with the saxophone solo, tapping my shoes on the floor along to the notes, and vibing with the soft piano. I wanted to hum along with the different parts as they moved on to the trombone, then to a piano solo.

Then, Oddity played a love song all about how love sometimes makes you do and say things that you’ve never done or said. Playing the love song in part one is like a sudden change in our lives. We slowly start to forget our everyday habits and start focusing on that one person that makes us happy. Oddity followed up with more songs from Oddisea Pt 1: “Brighter Day,” “Out the Door,” and “Chasing Paradise I.” Part one was a mix of slow flow tunes when a sudden almost harsh burst of happy. For me, part one felt like how it feels when life is going okay for you, then life hands you a gift. And that gift is love. As if I was currently happy and trying to savor the moment, but the feeling dissolved as the next wave of emotions pulled me in. Part one felt like being in love with a sprinkle of naivety... hopeful, joyous, upbeat, and lively. Adjectives that describe how we truly act when we're in love.

Part 2 & 3

Parts two and three felt like a theme with variations. The music in part two was dreamy, with a lot of nostalgia, introspectiveness, and yearning. Oddity described the song “Stalgic Stank” as, “’stalgic to the point where it’s like...move on.”

Part two was euphoric emotion, emotions that feel like you’re high. Letting go of all of your worries, anger, frustration, and any emotions holding you back and just being happy. It was also filled with that nostalgia that lingers when you’re moving forward from a deep relationship with a soulmate, twin flame, karmic partner, parent, sibling...any type of bond that we’ve never experienced with anyone else but them...that feeling that everything was perfect the way that it was.

Towards the end of part two, a hint of sadness crept in, and part three was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Oddity wrote the song “It Gets Better” to talk about how life gets hard sometimes, but it always gets better. That doesn’t mean that it gets better right away. It takes time to jump from that euphoric feeling back to reality. It’s as if life tricks you to a point and then pulls you out of a hypnotic state.

Part 4

At our listening party, Oddity announced that Oddisea, Pt. 4 is coming in the spring of 2024 and promised it will be euphoric. “For the winter, you know, get settled in, tend to yourself, and when spring comes...we’ll be in touch. We’ll be in touch," Oddity said.

As the night ended, I felt like the journey that Oddity took me on was being high on love. The beginning started off sober and clear-minded--a regular day of happiness, nothing too surprising, nothing out of the ordinary—until something or someone comes into our lives and gives us that extra dopamine of hormones that sends our lives into a range of happiness we’ve never really experienced before. Kinda euphoric. But we know that this type of happiness always carries an expiration date. Out of all the songs throughout that night, “Stalgic Stank” spoke more to me because I know that type of expired happiness where you don’t want to let go. The night and Oddity’s music reminded me that everything’s going to be okay if I do.

Oddity's three Oddisea EPs are out now. Oddisea Pt. 4 is in the works.