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First Play: Odonis Odonis, No Pop

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Andrea Gin

Toronto’s Odonis Odonis’ acclaimed 2016 release, Post Plague, was a synth-filled musical warning of a gloomy, ominous future. Next week the trio is set to follow it up with something even darker, and we have it streaming here a week ahead of its release date.

According to the band's members, they found inspiration for the album’s name from the musical movement "no pop," short for “not popular,” a phrase originally conceived by Toronto music blogger Lonely Vagabond, who wrote about it in a 2014 blog post “Declaration of a New Alternative” on Music Think Tank. According to the writer, the term no pop represents “anti-commercial, non-chart-friendly, also inferring there is no expiration date on music nor is it limited by geographic or regional boundaries.” The movement also seeks to redefine non-mainstream music in the social media age. In short, it's a rallying cry for the rebirth of independent music.

On No Pop, Odonis Odonis is certainly faithful to this premise: its post-apocalyptic brand of dance-floor gloom is certainly not following any mainstream music trends. The album tackles themes of future technology-driven dystopias using moody rhythms and stark vocals laid over churning, twisting soundscapes. The music combines elements of industrial, techno and noise in a way that’s raw and unsettling.

Odonis Odonis describes its adaptation of the ideology as a creatively freeing experience.

"With no expectations, hangs ups or second guesses, #nopop represents to us, if anything, a threshold that you hit in your artistic life where you stop caring about being cool or over analyzing the outcome of any given situation that arises when making your art,” the band explained via email. “Create for creation's sake and let culture experience, judge, do with it what it may."

No Pop will be available on Oct. 20 via Telephone Explosion in Canada and Fette in the rest of the world. You can pre-order it here. Please note that the track "Needles" is a vinyl exclusive.