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Just a few years ago, it seemed Oddisee was destined to be the DMV’s “boom bap” hip-hop producer, given his dedication to pounding drums and obscure soul loops. Just a cursory listen to his Mental Liberation compilation or the Diamond District‘s stellar In The Ruff album could confirm such notions.
Over the past year, however, the Upper Marlboro native has moved on geographically and artistically. He’s moved from D.C. to Brooklyn, N.Y. Odd also seems more focused on growing as an arranger and composer, based on the feel of Odd Seasons and his upcoming Rock Creek Park.
Odd Seasons, released today, is a 33-track compilation of Oddisee’s four seasoned-themed compilations, all mastered and sequenced to take listeners through winter, spring, summer, and fall. “To Tell The Truth” is an upbeat, horn-heavy drum track suitable for break dancing while the soothing “That Day” allows fellow DMVer Muhsinah to whisper softly over an electric piano and subtle bass line.
But it’s the album’s bonus songs—-“Al Mawrada” and “You Don’t Close Your Eyes”—-that foreshadow Oddisee’s new artistic direction. “Al Mawrada” is an effervescent instrumental with a funky guitar riff, intermittent organ drops and cascading drum cymbals. “You Don’t Close Your Eyes,” with its driving salsa vibe, is made somber by a chilling piano loop as Oddisee rhymes quickly about heartbreak. “Restaurant parking lots seem like the spot in the plot you like to talk a lot,” Oddisee raps.
Both songs are on the vinyl edition of Odd Seasons. “You Don’t Close Your Eyes” is on the album’s iTunes edition.