The debut album from Perth-based alt-rock group Big Orange is no where near typical. An Ode to Odious is a super diverse and perfectly disjointed eight-track collection that constantly surprises. Songwriter Daniel Davis took us through some of the tracks that inspired the album.

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An Ode to Odious is a testament to thoughtful songwriting and well considered production. A big downfall of many albums, debut or not, is that originality falls short and repetition kicks in. But Big Orange have managed to soar right above the obvious and deliver a really unique collection of tracks.

There’s a hint of Placebo or Joy Division throughout the album as modern alt rock plays with the grunge/punk crossover of the nineties. Just the jump from opening track In The Shadows to the second track The Reason, is a startling wake-up to the clever unpredictability of the entire record. Dangerous Times plays with jazzy pianos and an almost Nick Cave style of storytelling, whereas a song like Goodnight Kiss Vampire Bite pulses with punchy keys and bouncing rhythms.

We’ve been chipping away at this album for quite some time now. Some tracks are new but others have been kicking around for what seems like eternity. It’s not a long album, just eight tracks that felt right together at this point in time. We have so much in the pipeline, it feels good to get this train a-rollin’.

Emma Adams, Big Orange

Read on as songwriter Daniel Davis takes us through some of the tracks that inspired the group’s latest album An Ode to Odious.

SONGS THAT INSPIRED: AN ODE TO ODIOUS

1. R.E.M:  The Great Beyond

R.E.M and this song in particular was one of the reasons I wanted to be more expansive in our music and sound and bring in different instruments to the typical rock band. It influenced our use of synths and strings and piano in our songs. 

2. Arcade Fire: No Cars Go

I have a penchant for the grandiose and this song is epic in scope and builds to a huge climax. I love the string melodies and it’s raw power. A lot of what we were trying to do on this album is in this song. 

3. Bob Dylan: Tombstone Blues 

I wrote the lyrics for dangerous times one morning and it all came out very quickly. I kept thinking it must be what it’s like to be Bob Dylan. Just effortless writing. I very much had Dylan in mind while it was coming out. He’s the greatest. 

4. Sonic Youth: Incinerate

This track is so cool. I’m a huge fan of nineties music and even though this song was released in 06 it’s still got that nineties vibe. This sound permeates a lot of our stuff. Cool riff and chords. 

5. Beyoncé: Crazy In Love

This song we referenced when we were recording Vampire Bite. We were trying to get an RnB sound to it. I don’t know how much actually comes out in it, but this is a fun song. 

6. Bruce Springsteen:  Streets of Fire

Bruce sings with his heart on his sleeve and delivers each line with so much passion and gusto. Take pride in being earnest, lay it all on the line and don’t look back. 

7. Smashing Pumpkins:  Zero

People always say they can hear the Pumpkins in our music and there’s a good reason for that, they’re one of my favourite bands. Jimmy chamberlains an incredible drummer and had a big influence on the drum work on the album and a lot of the guitar tones can be attributed to Billy’s sound. 

8. Rolling Stones: Start Me Up

For Vampire Bite I wanted to write a really concise pop song that bands like the Stones do really well. They don’t mess around, they have a hook that works and they just groove it out. 

9. The Killers: A Dustland Fairytale 

I think Brandon flowers is a great songwriter and this song is a good example of his prowess. The chord structures are really unique and interesting, and the vocal melodies are great. You can tell a lot of work has gone into the craft.

10. The Cure: Lullaby 

There are so many melodies in this song like all cure songs. That’s a huge focus when I’m writing. The music always comes first and I work really hard on vocal melodies. The kind of atmosphere in this song was something we were trying to achieve on our album. 

Posted by Rebecca Costanzo