Scottish hip-hop mainstays Stanley Odd have returned with their fourth album, and their first in over six years, STAY ODD, via their own label, Handsome Tramp Records. Recorded over a four-year period – between residential studios in Perth, city spaces in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and in their own homes – Stanley Odd‘s STAY ODD showcases the sound of a band who are nothing but confident in their Oddness. The Fountain caught up with Veronika from the band who spoke about the change in sound and about trying new things.
TF: You have a new album out, what can we expect from STAY ODD?
It’s taken us a lot longer than we ever anticipated to get here, four years in the making was never really the plan but in hindsight, it’s been a blessing. What we arrived at came from a bunch of wild ideas and slow burners which were reworked and remodelled and then left to ferment for a while, before fine tuning. We have matured in a way. It definitely hasn’t felt as rushed as some of our previous work, the process has been quite organic overall but it’s also been well thought out which we hope comes across. Being four albums deep it was time to really challenge ourselves and think about what we were trying to do. It is definitely a step away from our usual comfort zone and maybe a little less predictable? Maybe it’s not for us to judge but there is rapping from me, singing from Solareye and even a dance record in the mix. The lyric from one of our tunes Best Pals, probably just about sums it up for me; ‘It’s fragile and beautiful and ordinary and magic’.
TF: And it’s not just a record, what is this I hear of a book?
Well, yes, we have a book. We have explained it previously as co-pilot to the album and that is exactly what is intended. We really just wanted to welcome people into the world of Odd and the inner workings of the album. It has been a labour of love with many challenges along the way, it’s a huge body of work. We wanted people to use the book to navigate through the album, taking in every little detail – mostly the lyrics and the stories within the songs but also the artwork and the making of the tracks. It made sense to document this album, the timing felt right especially in the absence of live gigs where we usually get to tell our story. It probably wouldn’t have happened had we not been faced with the pandemic. In a way, in was a means of giving back whilst we ride this out together.
TF: What is your plan for promoting the release, some digital live events or can we expect something odd?
It’s been a strange one for us, normally with all new releases comes a bunch of tour dates and a lot of hard graft to promote it. We aren’t sure when that will ever be a thing again but until then like everyone else, we need to adapt. The biggest fear was that it would all feel a bit deflated after the release and that no one would even know about it and that is still a possibility. There certainly will be more focus on all social media platforms – we aren’t the best with all of that by our own admission but we are learning as we go. We hope to engage with any and every opportunity that allows us to talk about ourselves! And of course, we are working on a live streamed performance which seems to be the flavour of choice for many musicians just now. You never know what comes next with the Odd crew but we are always open to suggestion.
TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging again?
It’s a hard one to pin point specifically but I know it would most probably be one of the Glasgow based venues, really because we seem to be best received there. The Glasgow audience doesn’t hold back and they commit to live music better than most places – no matter what day of the week or the weather they will be out in full force. It’s always a great energy with plenty heckles to keep us grounded! There have been plenty highlights and great memories playing in Glasgow – the Old Fruitmarket, ABC and the Hydro to name only a few. To be honest, as long as I can hear myself, I am easily pleased. That said, I am missing playing at festivals the most and cannot wait until they are back. Hopefully with any luck we’ll actually be invited to play at a few of them!
STAY ODD is available now, via Handsome Tramp Records