After releasing their upbeat debut single “Chicken Nuggets” last year, Pune rock outfit Odyssey 147 – comprising bassist Asher Everen, guitarists Darryl Anthony and Neel Parulekar, drummer Nicholas Umrethi and vocalist Swarali Dabhadkar – spent a lot of time together working on new songs and experimenting on fresh sounds. Recently the band released their second single, the emotional “Bluebird,” produced by Pune-based artist Adhitavo.
In this interview with Rolling Stone India, the band talks about how they wrote the new track, what it’s about, what the future holds and more.
When did work on your new song “Bluebird” begin?
Everen: The song had been bouncing around since February 2020, but we really started building on it in April 2021, after releasing ‘Chicken Nuggets.’ That’s when the string section came into being, which breathed new life into the song. Once the second wave [of the pandemic] subsided, we started meeting at our drummer Nicholas’ bungalow no.147 with our producer Adhitavo and worked on the songwriting and arrangement.
What can you tell me about the new song in terms of its lyrical theme and sonic imprint?
Dabhadkar: Through ‘Bluebird,’ we want to convey a feeling one experiences after facing conflicts in a relationship while being uncertain of what lies ahead. It is a journey of introspection, remembering mistakes and ‘wishing that we could turn back time.’ Musically and lyrically, ‘Bluebird’ starts out sparse and somber, using ambient guitars to create a soulful, heavy-hearted atmosphere. As it progresses, the song grows more intricate with intermittent distorted guitars and builds into an emotionally charged outpouring with a grand string section.
What was the recording process like for the track?
Adhitavo: ‘Bluebird’ was recorded at Gray Spark Audio, Pune. ‘Bluebird’ features live drums recorded with a variety of classic vintage preamps that adds analog warmth to the sound. We tracked guitars by building on varied rhythm patterns and ambient soundscapes that showcase Odyssey 147’s experimental sound. Being a classically trained pianist, I love the concepts of harmony and structure, which we worked into the vocal arrangement. Swarali sent me some interesting vocal ideas over voice notes which we built into dense harmonies and adlibs that added color and depth to ‘Bluebird.’ The song was mixed by Nitin Muralikrishna and mastered by Ronak Runwal at Gray Spark Audio, Pune.
What plans do you have in promoting the track?
Anthony: This song is something that is very close to all of us. We enjoyed the entire creation, composition and production process every step of the way. I think it’s a very heartrending story, one that the audience will be able to empathize with.
We plan to promote the song by engaging a local audience via tailormade gigs and reaching out to independent radio shows. We’ll be organizing Instagram live sessions where we share the stories of the making of the song and are working on a video that will show the journey of the song featuring behind-the-scenes footage of our practice sessions and time in the studio.
Umrethi: We believe we are on an epic journey and are excited for what lies ahead for the band and want to grow our audience in cities like Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi and plan out live performances in the future. We are currently working on refining demos that we plan to build as an EP. Our goal for the next two to three years is to release singles and EPs as well as work on outreach and branding.