You may not have heard the name Otious just yet (pronounced ‘oh-shus’, by the way), but the four-piece have been building a rep for themselves in the Melbourne scene with a gripping brand of indie-electronica.
Their latest single ‘My Love’ is a striking, emotive tale that straddles the line between James Blake’s thoughtful storytelling, and Nick Murphy (aka Chet Faker) at his smoothest, bringing Otious’ lyricism – and knack for building lush, effortless grooves – into sharp focus.
“It’s definitely inspired by the general feeling of a relationship at its end,” the band say, “but where you’re constantly turning over that indecision in your mind. The lyrics in ‘My Love’ tend to contradict one another, which is something you do in the face of dull familiarity and indecision.
“We wanted to capture that moment of time where the only thing you can do is overthink.”
Gradually merging from the acoustic world into the electronic, it was that narrative focus of the singer-songwriter that Otious were dead-set on carrying across with them as they swapped their guitars for synths.
“A lot of electronic music out there, especially in genres like house, garage etc, focuses heavily on the groove, melody and overall feel of the track,” Darcy says. “What we really want to do with Otious is create interesting music that has interesting grooves, without neglecting the lyrical aspect.
“We want to write lyrics that can be pulled apart and interpreted in different ways by the listener. Some of our favourite music has this way of perfectly marrying the melodies with lyrics, and that’s something we really want to explore further.
“In terms of where the band is at now, it’s not so much our shared love for similar genres that brings us together when writing, as it is our individual love for those genres. Our strength is that we are all different musically, and we try to access all these avenues when writing and performing.”
Those favourite influences range from the chilled electronica of Bonobo and Toro y Moi to storytellers like The War On Drugs, and the acts they’ve supported so far have been just as varied, ranging from Canadian jazz/hip hop masterminds BadBadNotGood, to Australia’s premiere party starters Bag Raiders and Peking Duk.
Otious kick things off for Peking Duk at their recent hometown gig
In fact, that opening slot for Peking Duk in their native habitat of Canberra was the first taste of the sort of crowd they’ll be targeting themselves over the next few years.
“We drove up from Melbourne, which took about 7-8 hours, so it was a lot of fun coming up, but not so much coming back sore and sorry,” Darcy says. “The show itself was amazing and the crowd were so much fun – easily the biggest crowd we’ve played to. Hopefully we get to head back up there again soon!”
For now, Otious are knuckling down and working on getting an EP together, while honing their live craft with gigs around their hometown
“Jordy is really looking forward to playing a pivotal role in the mighty Templestowe Docker’s finals footy campaign,” Darcy says. “Just ask him!”
“In terms of music though, we’ll definitely be trying to gig hard throughout spring and summer – you’ll be able to catch us around Melbourne and beyond soon enough.”
Along with their latest single ‘My Love’, you can check out Otious’ debut EP Charade below – we’re definitely hanging to hear what’s next.