ODEONS – I Can’t Pretend (2021)

Technically formed in mid-2020, ODEONS is the collaboration of producers Pati and Mikko Jaakkola. Inserting a tinge of electropop into alternative rock, the Finnish duo are breeding a new type of…well, I’m not entirely sure how to describe them. What I do know is I agree with Grammy Award-winning producer Sylvia Massy when she says that “these guys know how to write guitar-driven music”.

Despite forming only one year ago, ODEONS music has been well-received across the globe from the UK’s Edgar Allan Poets to Brazilian TECO APPLE to Radio Helsinki. It seems the duo are making international waves, but this has not gone to their heads as their sophisticated music has a humble quality. The latest addition to the critically acclaimed discography is ‘I Can’t Pretend’.

Following their hit track ‘Allowed To Fall’ (read our review here), ‘I Can’t Pretend’ sees the duo returning to their pop-influenced style instead of moving along an intense rock-influenced sound. While there is a strong similarity to their previous pop track ‘Hush Hush’, the latest single is upbeat, jovial and buoyant. Yet, while there is joviality in the guitar-driven single, the content is far less superficial. It is this depth that makes the duo’s music innovative and intriguing.

Teaming up with Australian singer-songwriter Joey Djia, ‘I Can’t Pretend’ has a contemporary pop quality in the rich vocals. I wouldn’t compare Djia to anyone but you might be a fan if you enjoy Dua Lipa or Ariana Grande. Using poetic lyricism and enchanting instrumentation, ODEONS and Djia showcase sophistication and elegance in the new single. Touching on issues of toxic relationships and inner turmoil there is some melancholic sincerity in the work; however, it is the delicate lyricism and warm voice that makes vulnerability more bearable.

‘I Can’t Pretend’ might not be considered simplistic in its sound, but it deconstructs the effect of negative relationships to a simplistic level. The raw honesty contained in the single fills you with despair and sadness, yet there is a lingering optimism as the protagonist “can no longer deny that they’re near breaking point.” Intriguing, introspective and engaging, this is another anthemic triumph from ODEONS.

For more from ODEONS check out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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