Odonian Drifts – Xsufflation (2022)

Over the last few years, we have all run the gamut of emotions, from sorrow to vexation and confusion. Odonian Drifts is no different, but has taken these feelings and turned them into the single ‘Xsufflation’. Bringing Gnostic creation myths to abstract encounters and human exceptionalism, he traces the path of fragile hope as it winds its way through thick shadows.

With a sound that ranges from alt-folk to dark wave and dream pop, the splash of experimentalism in the single has you easily falling into a new sonic world. This path of emotion comes from the brain of Iain Rowley, poet, paramedic and member of the post-punk Spirits in the Pillar. The single found its roots during the pandemic, while this music project found its feet around the same time, after the publication of Rowley’s poetry collection.



‘Xsufflation’ swirls with shadows from the first moment. There is an undulation to the low tones that makes you think of a dark lake that ripples in the moonlight, beckoning you into the depths, but not revealing what lies beneath. It is a beautiful dark wave wash that catches you in its current, not that you want to be anywhere else. While this dark wave wash continues through the low levels, there is a lighter tone that makes its way into the soundscape. This lighter tone is the fragile hope that calls you like a flickering candle flame in the distance. It is an undeniably rich melody that has untold depths waiting for you to dive in, with glittering higher tones that offer the tender tendrils of hope and something better. Through all of this, the expansive vibe reaches out with a slightly foggy feeling that adds to the overall imagery of the sound.

As you traverse the dark lake and fog of the melody, the vocals cradle you in their poetic movement. Rowley’s voice is smooth yet captures the depths of the low levels of the melody. There is a lot of imagery that has been artfully woven into the lyrics, that swirl through your brain and bring the abstract experience of emotion to life. At times, his voice trails into the distance only to double back and settle calmly on your shoulders. The harmonised backing on the chorus adds to the foggy expansive vibe of the single.

Odonian Drifts has us floating with the current of a dark lake covered in fog moving toward a flickering candle of hope in ‘Xsufflation’. The low levels of the music ripple with dark wave tones, as the higher levels weave through like the tender light of hope. The lyrics are packed with poetry while the vocals are smooth as they cradle you in the water.

Find out more about Odonian Drifts on his website, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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