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67: OTA BROWN mesmerises us with debut single DAYDREAM...

For regular readers here at Local & Live Media, you'll know we have a soft spot for all things jazz and RnB, so when we came across Ota Brown... we knew we'd found a new local artist to obsess over. Oozing grace, style and attitude, Barcelona-born and now Liverpool-based Ota Brown has released her debut single 'Daydream' this week, and we can't stop listening to it's mesmerising vocals, dreamy arrangement and mainstream-ready production. Under Merciful Sound Records, this highly awaited debut release is just the start for the much-loved artist, and we are here to unpick the greatness that lies within it's soundwaves:


Drawing us in with that undeniable neo-soul guitar tremolo tone that confirms what we are about to hear will be nothing short of a masterpiece, we sink into a state of hazy illusions at the start of Ota's 'Daydream'. Complex jazz harmony floods the beginnings of this track, and after settling into the safety net of sparsity, an effortlessly laid back groove greets us with open arms and shimmery synths. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of seeing this particular artist live before, you grasp the true idea of Ota's sound within the first few bars of this debut release - a perfect introduction to her sonic world.

'I could have never believed someone would have helped me grieve from all the past lovers...'

Ota's abilities to captivate a listener are highlighted with excellence in the soulful vocal entry of this track, putting us right in the middle of her tear-stained journal pages with introverted lyricism and glimmers of hope. After reflecting upon past emotional turbulence from relationships prior, 'Daydream' focuses on newfound optimism and longing: perfectly capturing the essence of infatuation after meeting someone new. An intricate melody carries these rose-tainted lyrics with rhythmic quirks and fluid syncopation - years of growing up on Bossa Nova classics and Jazz Standards brought forward to modern perspective in Ota's music. From verse to pre-chorus, we become quickly accustomed to the sheer musicianship found in both Ota's talents and the band's complexity, transitioning effortlessly from serene admiration in the verse to a broadened array of textures and contemplative lyrics leading up to the chorus.

'Please don't let it all just be a daydream...'

A wave of euphoria hits with every splash of the ride cymbal and dancing bass line in the track's chorus, whilst Ota's yearning vocals pray that these feelings at play aren't just a daydream. Struggling to believe the amazement of a new love interest, you get lost in the thoughts and countermelodies in this section: all elements of the song losing themselves in the rush of emotion that holds enough power to take over someone's life. Years of influence are heard within the bones of this wall of sound, from the RnB-infused guitars, unapologetic pop presentation and jazz sensibilities in the harmonic structure and soaring ad-libs.

'something about you made me learn I should have what I deserve...'

Shifting the focus from the person on her mind to herself as a previous victim of heartbreak, verse two comes with the realisation that this new experience is a healthy one - worrying lyrics and layers of conflicting thoughts switched out for simplicity and the tight-pocketed groove we found in verse one. A snapback into reality, instrumental stabs and upfront vocal production bring the centre back from wandering thoughts to the 'pinch-me' moment that this is really happening, and there's no turning back on past mistakes.

After spanning the lengths at which Ota's impeccable vocals reach, one final reprise of the dreamlike chorus prove to us that there actually aren't any limits when it comes to the artist's abilities. Diving into the inevitable falling in love, layers of ad-lib-galore and subtle backing vocal harmony take us to the final moments of the track - the instrumentation following on in a jam-esque style. At just 2 minutes and 38 seconds in length, all emotions tied with the early days of newfound romance are covered in detail and clarity within 'Daydream', and backed by twists and convolutions in the composition, this debut release is the perfect addition to our 'Nothing But Groove' playlist this week (and where it will live for a long time from now on).


Hooked on all things Ota Brown now? Thought so... well you can catch her LIVE on 24th March and 1st May at Kazimier Stockroom in Liverpool. Catch 'Daydream' in full down below, and be sure to add it to all your sun-soaked soul-pop playlists, if you know what's good for you.

Review No. 67

by Meg Shaw, Local & Live Media

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