It is one of those times when I accidentally stumble upon a killer band on Instagram and decided not to resist the urge to share my impressions with the world. In case the name Atwood does not ring a bell in your mind and their music is uncharted territory, it is your lucky day.
In this post, I will be talking about my impressions of their first EP At Odds and sharing the quick interview the Italian breakthrough formation was kind enough to take the time to do with me.
Scrolling on Instagram for hours is generally a terrible habit but sometimes it can lead to positive things. A few months ago I found the account of the band and took the invitation of their profile description to give their music a shot.
The first time I played Atwood I felt very similar to how I felt the first time I heard PVRIS. I was enchanted by their aesthetics, the captivating feel of the music, and I immediately realized it is a matter of time before those guys make it big.
The song was Dance In The Sun – their latest release that quickly got me interested and proved the band has immense potential. They have started making music in 2017 with mostly covers (do check out their version of Billie Eilish’s Bury A Friend – it’s damn good) and ever since have been making their way up in the music world.
Listen to Atwood’s first EP At Odds
Listening to the female-fronted Italian formation a few things quickly become clear. They are passionate about their art and they have some important things to say.
At Odds is a well-executed, short but worthwhile EP. The band manages to mix alternative rock with contemporary electronics and post-hardcore sounds to create something with a distinctive feel and slight nostalgic reminder of the golden age of emo.
Example provided, of course
Most of their songs start strong with a proper rock-solid instrumental which confidently leads to sincere and emotional lyrical content. Despite not having that many releases Atwood are capable of taking you on a ride which will invoke various feelings, thoughts, and realizations in your soul. It is highly likely you will relate to their music in one way or another and it is not impossible to resort to it as a form of support and comfort in times when you are not at your best state of mind.
The videos the band curates (in collaboration with their video maker Dalilù – hands down, a job well done) make their concepts complete and give an extra clarity of what they are trying to convey making the final result even more powerful. I highly admire artists who take their time and execute their ideas in a way that makes understanding them easier and Atwood definitely fall into this category.
At Odds is a great EP – with five tracks of supreme quality and diverse subjects.It is a great choice when you want something serious and thought-provoking but not overwhelming. The band touches topics of despair, fear, and suffocation on several occasions and despite having a sad undertone the feeling of hope and empowerment overtake in the end.
And the best part is this is only the start – I am sure things are yet to develop and progress. Dance In The Sun is already hinting that the band is up to the challenge of experimentation (as we are about to discuss in a bit) and perhaps we should expect big things in the future (no pressure guys).
Few things can beat the fulfillment of discovering a new band with such overwhelming potential and attention to detail. After listening to At Odds a few times and learning more about the band I was determined to at least try and get an interview.
And they agreed.
This is the moment to say a huge THANK YOU to Atwood for agreeing to take the time and answer my questions with such enthusiasm. I highly respect and appreciate down-to-earth bands that take the time to talk with fans.
I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed making it and please do not forget to check Atwood’s music out, support them, and keep a close eye on their development via Facebook or Instagram. It will be worth it, you have my word.
You are a relatively new band, how did you make the decision to go into the music field? What gave you the final push to do it?
We’ve all been musicians for a long time, so we’ve all been part of the industry for a few years now. There was no “true” decision, as playing is such an important aspect of our lives.
Tell us a bit more about the music industry as insiders. My observation is that it is quite hard to break through as a new band/artist and get your music to the right people. Would you say the music world is a fierce place and what does it take to make it?
Your observation is absolutely correct. There’s no recipe for making it in this world, but we can say that the first rule is “give music everything you have.” It means sacrificing a lot – and even then, it might not be enough. It’s a complex industry where having the right acquaintances is key.
What inspires you to make music the music you make – write the songs you write, and shoot the videos you shoot?
We like to write everything that comes to mind, so we draw inspiration from anything we do and hear. Then we start a long process of selecting what we think is worth working on, and we develop, using the music we love the most as reference. “Where are we going with this song? What does it have to feel like?” are all questions we ask ourselves when writing. The lyrics go the same way: Alice writes a lot, and when we choose a new song to work on, we choose the lyrics that go best with the song’s mood. We do not think of lyrics as a secondary aspect – they’re just as important as the instrumental.
The videos are imagined based on the lyrics and mood, and the plot is written together with our video maker (Dalilù, she’s great), who’s able to translate our often-inconsistent ideas into beautiful images. We like to work on every aspect with the same care and attention to detail.
Do you sometimes get trapped in your own mind? What motivates you to keep going when you are not at your best and you feel the anxiety/negativity taking over?
Yes, we do. It actually happens pretty often, but we’ve learned how to manage everything with the right spirit. We want to grow as a band, and never losing focus is what’s helped us the most so far.
You have been working hard since 2017 and you already have a solid foundation of great covers and a unique EP. What are your goals for 2020? Do you have new music or touring planned and what should we expect from the next stage of Atwood?
Thank you! In 2020 we hope to record new stuff and play a fair bit of shows. We’re working on a tour and on playing some festivals abroad. Hope it works out!
The next stage is a brand-new version of ourselves, built on what we were before. We’re not straying from what we used to be – we’re only using it building bricks for a fresh start.
Photos in the post are by Edoardo Giacomelli
I can notice that your music is combining several genres. In general, I view defining a band under a specific style as a limitation, so I am interested in hearing your thoughts on experimentation, genre-bending, trying out new styles and changing directions when it comes to music?
We love experimenting, and although we call ourselves alternative rock when asked, we prefer not to use labels as well. We try to combine the energy of metal and the melodies of pop with electronic elements such as synths and sequences, and so far, we’ve been happy with the outcome.
What was the hardest, emotionally speaking, song you have made so far (released or unreleased)?
Alice speaking here – definitely Empty Room. It was our first song, and lyrically it was really hard for me because I gave it all I had.
I channeled all my emotions at once in a single song, but then I learned how to manage them in order to create balanced lyrics and melodies. The recording process was tough as well – we wanted our first song to sound perfect, so we worked really hard on that one. However, it was worth it, as we used that experience as a template for the following recordings. As we said above, it’s hard, but it pays off.
Going a bit towards goals and aspirations – which band or artists do you dream to tour with in the future – who do you think will have a good synergy with Atwood?
Well, we’d love to tour with the bands which inspire us the most, so we’re going for Pvris, Paramore, Halflives, Tonight Alive, Enter Shikari and Bring me the horizon. It’s a bit of a reach, but we aim high!
However, we all listen to different genres and bands, so there are many different influences to be added to those bands. Daniele’s more of a pop-rock, alternative rock-type of guy, while Alice is more of a metalhead. Sometimes it’s hard to meet halfway, but we manage.
So far you have played before Lost, the Italian icons of pop-punk, you made it to 1MNext finals in Rome and you have opened for Eyes Set To Kill – a good list of achievements. Which festival (or venue) do you wish to headline one day?
Coachella for sure, and then Sziget. It would be a dream come true!
What is the story behind At Odds?
The story behind At Odds is nothing more than a never-ending search for freedom from people trying to guilt you into staying with them, while suffocating your dreams and hopes. They may not even be aware of it, but it’s up to you to break free and run. It’s not easy, for sure, because they usually use you as a mirror to look for their own identity in, but once you manage to get out, you have the energy and mindset to be who you really are.
Who are Atwood outside of the music aspect?
A hard-working family. There is no outside of the music aspect because it’s the biggest part of our lives.
Tips on how to have the best time ever at an Atwood show?
Get at the front and sing at the top of your lungs with us! We want to share our energy with as many people as we can. We never hold back when we’re on stage.
Do you remember the first time you went on stage? What was it like to be able to perform your art in front of other people?
We do! We were super nervous, but it turned out to be a fun show that we will remember forever. People were extremely supportive and energetic, and they helped us overcome fear a lot. I love going back to that show because I can see how much we’ve changed and grown in the past year, and I hope we can do the same in the future.
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