FEATURED FIND: ODD SWEETHEART – SAD LOVE SONGS FOR EMO HEARTS
Image by Dani Calleiro, provided by artist
Odd Sweatheart is the new kid on the block that you’re about to get obsessed with. Offering up his very own brand of sad sod indie emo music, this young musician is everything you’ve been looking for in the latest wave of modern-day emo. Most importantly though, he’s not just a kid off TikTok riding his followers into the music scene. He’s a hardworking, talented, artistic spirit with a lot on his mind and even more on his heart.
In March 2022, Odd Sweetheart released their debut self-titled EP jam-packed with their most popular hits with something for every indie lover to sink their teeth into. Standout tracks include “Structure”, “6 Weeks” and “Old Soul”.
Odd Sweetheart is a 3-piece indie emo band from Miami and their biography reads as follows: “Sad songs, taco bell, good vibes, so on and so forth, usual angsty teen garbage.” What’s not to love about these guys?! And you haven’t even heard their music yet. So, let’s get into it!
ODD SWEETHEART - STRUCTURE
Released by Life or Death records, “Structure” is by far Odd Sweetheart’s most beloved track (so far). And I gotta admit, I’m partial to it just like the rest of the fanboys out there. The song kicks off with some very fun morse code that allegedly says I LOVE YOU. Now I can’t verify if that’s true because I obviously don’t know morse code but I’m gonna believe it’s true because it’s a lot more fun that way. Now get ready for a lyrics blast because this track has some good ones that MUST be shared:
“I’ve got words on my mind that I’m too scared to speak/And a burden that’s grown these last couple of weeks/But I’m too scared to tell you what’s been on my mind/’Cause it’s you that’s been crossing it from time to time”
The song revolves around catching feelings for someone in your life, as most of the greatest emo songs of all time are. And I’m all here for it!
ODD SWEETHEART - 6 WEEKS
“6 Weeks” is a pandemic-inspired song if I’ve ever heard one. It came out at the tail end of 2020 and deals with all your regular emo topics; loneliness, fear of abandonment, not leaving your house, having friends who are too busy for you, and how to become a successful musician when your crippling depression has taken over your life.
The song features on Odd Sweetheart’s recent 2022 EP as his debut offerings to the world and I for one am so happy this banger was included because it wouldn’t be an Odd Sweetheart release without this much sadness and despair.
ODD SWEETHEART - PEACEMAKER
“Peacemaker” is another gem of Odd Sweetheart’s debut EP and currently their second most popular track on Spotify. The upbeat classic Midwest emo sound is charming, enticing and catchy as all hell. The chorus is the standout here, singing “I never wanted to live/ Thought I'd only get peace in my head with a bullet through it/ Now I never want to die/ I'm still struggling to stay alive but I don't wanna leave your side”.
ODD SWEETHEART – OLD SOUL
Following the theme of broken faith and lost love, “Old Soul” is another classic emo banger from Odd Sweetheart. Here’s my favorite lyrics from the song, some sweet post-chorus emo magic: “But life's made me quite cynical/ And if it's true what I've been told/ That stress kills I won't live to be that old/ I guess I wouldn't mind that/ I guess I wouldn't mind that.”
We chatted with Odd Sweetheart about inspiration, influences, and new music.
WE ARE: THE GUARD: If you had to define your genre, what would it be?
ODD SWEETHEART: I don't know, I like to think it's stuff you can jam to but also ugly cry to when you're in that mood. Not to be the dude who calls himself "quirky" non-sarcastically, but if I only had a few seconds to get the point across to a stranger I might say it's "quirky alt rock" but geez that's a horrible label haha. My music is very midwest emo inspired so maybe just call it that?
WATG: Where do you find inspiration when writing your music?
OS: Anything and everything, the everchanging cycle of relationships, interests, and experiences in my life are always inspiring me in different ways. Usually it's the personal relationships in my life that force the pen to paper for me though. Sometimes there are internal thoughts/emotions that are too complex to explain to someone or aren't even worth saying directly to them, but I still need an outlet for those feelings. Sometimes they go on a page and get thrown out or forgotten, sometimes I keep that page or I remember a phone memo from months ago and if I feel it's worth expanding upon it becomes a song.
WATG: Who or what is your lyrical muse?
OS: Lyrically, there are a lot of midwest emo bands who have expressed emotions for me that I could not have even put into words myself. HOWEVER, more fascinating than anyone else, Kendrick Lamar might be my greatest lyrical muse. Kendrick to me has a mastery of storytelling, not only from song to song but over the course of albums that allows a peek behind the curtains into a life that is so vastly different than my own, yet full of emotions and ideas that I can relate to, empathize with, sympathize for, and celebrate. There's so many emotions I'm made to feel over the course of his discography, and all while still being a joy to listen to. Even when I go back and listen to old releases I'll always find something new to latch onto with every listen, the music always feels fresh to me, even the songs I know every single word to. Oh geez I could do a whole interview just talking about Kendrick and his music, needless to say I'm a big fan.
WATG: Who are your musical influences?
OS: I listen to a lot of different artists/genres, but the notable musical influences that probably come through in my own music the most are a lot of the emo, pop-punk, rock, midwest emo bands I love! Bands like: Tigers Jaw, Seahaven, The Hotelier, Oso Oso, Citizen, Neck Deep etc. (I can go on forever.) More recently I've really been into, Brakence, Aries, PinkPanthress, Tobi Lou, Sueco, and Lil Aaron. Like I said, my music taste is a little all over the place - I also have HIXTAPE and Yameii Online in rotation, my playlists are absolute chaos.
WATG: How did you start making music? Where did Odd Sweetheart begin?
OS: I always wanted to play guitar as a kid, I don't know what triggered it but I just thought they were cool as f*** - maybe it was Guitar Hero or something, I don't even know. I played violin for a bit in elementary school because it was as close as I could get, but it wasn't until about 6th grade that I was able to get my hands on my first guitar and really started learning. Needless to say I immediately dropped the violin and just dedicated myself to guitar, I was always an emo kid and finally I could play the instrument all my favorite bands played (sorry Yellowcard, violin just wasn't IT for me.) The rest was history, I started playing guitar in 6th grade and by 7th grade I was already recording crappy demos on a laptop that could hardly handle it. A couple years later my friend Yves and I wrote a couple songs out of his garage and that became Odd Sweetheart!
WATG: Tell us about your debut EP. Inspirations? Stories? Influences? We want all the details!
OS: I'll start with this: It is my dream for my music to help others the way the music that I love helps me - it brings me joy when I am down, and brings me comfort when I am in emotional distress. However, I never actually thought that anyone would listen or care, and to me that would be okay too because I made music that I NEEDED to make for myself (it was, and still is my coping mechanism.)
That being said: the interesting thing about the EP is that I wrote most of those songs when I was like 16-17 years old but I just didn't release them for years and the band kind of fell apart. However, I played a lot of live shows in the local Miami scene around that time and I made a lot of friends that I still talk to today. For years after those friends kept encouraging me to record the songs and release them - a way to immortalize the music of a band that would probably never play again - and for years I ignored their requests. One day it finally all clicked though that this was my dream begging to be realized! People kept asking for my music because they actually wanted it, even if it was only a small group of friends at the time, I felt I OWED it to them to release my music. In my eyes, I had been ungrateful that they cared enough to continually encourage me to release my music even years after we had played any shows and with little to no social media presence at that. I thought that I would record a few songs simply as a gesture of appreciation to my friends and THAT was the inception of the EP.
To my disbelief when I finally released my 3 song EP in 2019 when I was like 20 (FOUR YEARS AFTER I WROTE THE SONGS) I was met with nothing but love and exponential growth on the record that got me to where I am today. The process of recording the songs and releasing them reinvigorated my love for the art that I created, and the warm reception validated that this was something worth pursuing. If there's anything anyone can take away from that story is don't hold yourself back from your own success! I almost didn't ever release that EP and now that I have it has facilitated my dream, I can now pursue music and I feel so unbelievably grateful for everyone who has listened to Odd Sweetheart and continually supports me! Thank you!!!
Recently I was able to re-release my EP under a new label, Life or Death, with 3 new tracks on it! My favorite song on the record now is probably Sacrifices.
WATG: If you could work with any artist dead or alive, who would you pick?
OS: Alive: Brakence, the production on his records absolutely blow me away and lyrically he's one of my favorite artists at the moment, his music just speaks to me. Dead: It might be cliché but my choice would be Kurt Cobain. I just want to pick his brain on his worldview and see his lyrical writing process. He wrote in a way that is so abstract and foreign to me yet it's clear that the writing is very intentional and poetic even.
WATG: You’ve got one EP under your belt, what’s next for Odd Sweetheart?
OS: I'm taking my time to make sure that my next releases help define what I want the sound of this project to be. I've matured a lot since I initially wrote most of the songs for this EP and have a much wider inspiration pool of music to pull from. It may sound ambitious but I'd like to take that midwest emo influence I have in my music and incorporate more elements of genres that I love, modern pop/trap production, fast/fun j-rock guitar lines, chiptune and lofi sampling. I want to be intentional about incorporating the elements of music that I love and that make things feel new and exciting for me. Hopefully it'll be a step in a new direction that fans will be willing to take with me.
I've already taken small steps into new territory on the re-released version of the EP (2022)! My friend Sweet Max co-produced the song "Sacrifices" on the EP and that song is special to me because it's got some of the stylistic flair that I hope to push the boundary further on in future works.
WATG: Will you be touring anytime soon?
OS: That's what I'm working on! I'm dying to hit the road, I've been on tour before with other artists and there's literally no better feeling than exploring the country with your friends everyday and playing music all night. My hopes are to have something booked for the later half of this year, even if only some smaller runs headlining, but ideally I would love to open up for some of the artists I mentioned earlier in the interview!
WATG: Where do you see your career in the next 5 years?
OS: At least 17 Grammy's, I think that's reasonable... On a serious note, all I want for the future is to do nothing but music full time. It might sound kind of lame and basic but believe it or not I'm still working at a coffee shop part-time to make ends meet haha. As much as I love that job, it's draining to come home all day from handing out coffee and then get in a creative headspace. I'm doing everything I can right now to make it so that 5 years down the line I can spend all my time either in a studio or on tour. Whether I have 2 albums out or 10, I want to know that I was authentic about what I wrote and that I'm proud of my creations. Whether there's 20 or 2,000 people at my show I want them all to be singing along with me because I wrote something that connects with them. I guess in a simpler sense what I'm saying is that I want to make music that resonates with people, and I hope I can cultivate a loving culture and community around that. I want to work to get to the level that my favorite artists are on and bring up artists that deserve a platform as well along with me. That's what I hope to achieve in 5 years, hopefully time is friendly to me haha!
WATG: When can we expect new music from Odd Sweetheart?
OS: I'm going to say fall but the truth is I'm aiming for mid-summer, we'll see how that pans out! If you wanna stay posted on the process or any upcoming shows I'm most active on Instagram and TikTok!