With the release of their first two full-length efforts, 2011’s full-length debut Hollandaze and its Polaris Prize nominated follow up Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, the Toronto, ON-based electronic trio Odonis Odonis quickly received national attention across Canada for a sound that the trio has dubbed “industrial surfgaze,” and for relentlessly pushing their sound into new directions. The trio’s latest effort Post Plague was released earlier this year, and the album thematically and lyrically is inspired by the work of Iranian-American philosopher Fereidoun M. Esfandiary, who was a huge proponent of the concept of transhumanism — or the notion that the utilization of technology can overcome human limitations; the impending reality of synthetic experience, which forces all of us to realize that we are vulnerable, frantic, ridiculous creatures yearning for an authentic experience; the sensation that as a collective whole, that unless we take a deep look within ourselves and take stock of ourselves that we may may be losing something profound and unique to being humans.
“Needs,” the latest single off Post Plague has the trio pairing layers of undulating synths, howled and shouted vocals, industrial clang and clatter, rapid fire, staccato drum programming, chopped up vocal samples, a rousing, anthemic hook and a propulsive, hypnotic groove in a tense, anxious song that sonically channels early Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and others — but with a contemporary and stark sense of unease, uncertainty and the realization that we’re on the precipice of our own mutually assured self-destruction.
Directed by Scott Cudmore, the recently released video for “Needs” is the first episode of a series of short films, based around the material of Post Plague that blends virtual reality with traditional video to tell a larger, fictional story. And in the case of “Needs,” the video begins with a person transferring their existence into a barely functional AI robot — and are quickly pulled into a post-apocalyptic future that somewhat resembles our own present. As Cudmore explains in press notes, the video is about “Old, entitled, white men and the system of oppression and exploitation that they’ve created to serve their…well…needs, which are usually money and power. I’m looking at this through the lens of science fiction, but I wanted to depict that power structure breaking down finally. Breaking down internally. There’s no linear narrative and you are free to think of that aspect in any way, but each image is a depiction of this breakdown as well as of repression, exploitation and desperation.“