Song of the Week: Oidar

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Jessie Larrinaga

Hether released a new song along with his album on January 15, and it exceeds expectations. He explored a new sound that had a beachy, pop-rock vibe, and it was definitely worth listening to.

Jessie Larrinaga, Managing Editor

On January 15, Hether released his latest album, “Sticky Thumb.” Easily one of the best songs on the record, Oidar” gives off a laid- back beach-day energy.  

Castelluzzo rose to fame by posting videos on social media of himself playing the guitar. He was noticed by record producer Rodney Jerkins, and later toured with artists such as Dominic Fike and Anderson .PaakHether is the solo project of Paul Castelluzzo and is the stage name he used to create music. He started the project in the wake of his sister’s passing. 

Castelluzzo decided to try to make his own personal project a reality, and thus created Hether, putting out his EP in 2019. The music video for his EP track “When You Loved Me” was directed by Alex Lill and Phoebe Bridgers, and in the album “Hether Who?” he explored themes of love and loss.  

His song “When You Loved Me” was posted on Kendall Jenner’s Instagram, shooting him further into the spotlight.  

The EP was a great album and it helped get Hether into the world stage. “Shy” is another song on the album that flawlessly shows Castelluzzo’s unique vocal range and tone while still highlighting his other instrumentals. He self-produced and wrote the entire album, and most of the instrumentals are done by him as well.  

It’s always interesting to see artists who are talented in multiple ways. Castelluzzo has a very different vocal sound than most other popular artists, he writes his own songs, and he plays many instruments including the guitar. And he does all these things with an immense amount of talent and skill.  

This new album explores new sounds while still highlighting Castelluzzo’s soft vocal tone. 

The album as a whole isn’t a no-skip album – meaning that there are some songs that I think fall short of Castelluzzo’s standard. But it’s still a fantastic album with some great songs. I think that Castelluzzo was trying to explore new options to find where his sound fits perfectly. Two of my favorite songs on the album are “Sticky Thumb” which is also the name of the album, and “Oidar.”  

These two songs have very different sounds if you directly compare them

“Sticky Thumb” begins with a fast-paced tempo and goes on to slow down and then pick back up all throughout the song. It’s the type of song to listen to with headphones and just fall into the music. What the lyrics mean isn’t clear to me, but I think it’s up to listener interpretation. To me it sounds like he’s talking about a love with lots of ups and downs – when the music speeds up, they’re in a chaotic and confusing stage of romance, but when it slows down, they’re deeply in love.  

Oidar starts out with a chill beat that carries on throughout the song. When Castelluzzo’s vocals come in, they accompany the sound perfectly. The lyrics are deep and thoughtful. 

Oidar” is radio spelled backwards, and in the song, he says, “You slow me down, like a broken radio station, you’re so good at leavin‘, when nobody in here will stay.” He’s conveying that the person the song is about left him when he was at his lowest, and the comparison to a broken radio station suggests that they can never tell him what he wants to hear.  

With some of the other songs on the album, Castelluzzo’s vocals can be overpowered and difficult to hear at times with the other elements of the music. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – the instruments he’s playing are also a major aspect of the overall sound. So, it’s still his creation that is being heard even when it isn’t his voice. 

That being said, on “Oidar” his vocals come through in a way that pairs perfectly with the other instrumentals, and I would recommend giving it a listen.