“Since ancient times, humans have assigned healing and transformational properties to water. In early Rome, baths were an important part of cultural life, a place where citizens went to find relaxation and to connect with others in a calming setting. In ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal wisdom, and traditional Chinese medicine, the water element is crucial to balancing the body and creating physical harmony. Rivers have long been seen as sacred places, and in a number of different spiritual contexts, water has symbolized rebirth, spiritual cleansing and salvation” (Huffington Post).
Chad Thomas Laybacks and Cayla J. Louw make up the duo that is The Vast Oddity. The couple live together in South Africa where they both pull influences from their natural world around them to make unique music since May of 2019. Chad says that “a lot of ideas and notions rattling around the old noodle” inspires him to make music. Cayla says that she’s always been inspired to make music. “I guess music is a natural expression from and for the soul, it comes as naturally as breathing (for me)” says Cayla. Ranging from various observations about the surrounding environment and beyond to “theories, nature, extraterrestrial concepts, higher vibrations, epiphanies, the supernatural, anti-systemism (no idea what that is but okay)” influences their music. Finally, they tell me that “our fanbase is mostly open-minded, free-spirited, and usually likes to dabble in psychedelics or such”.
“Well I’m not affected by,These winds of change. And I’m always riding high,When the waves cascade. I’m doing swell!”
–Swell by Vast Oddity
The first thing that caught my attention about Vast Oddity’s unique sound is how the music almost sounds like it’s made underwater. However, it definitely looks like neither Chad or Cayla had produced their music underwater. You can probably find a way to make the same sounds with your guitar with this Google search! The sound is unlike any other one, at least for me I have never really heard a sound like Vast Oddity’s. Swell is a really cool song and is the first song I heard (because it’s also the most listened to song on Spotify). Chad did a good job with the vocals, and I didn’t even notice that Cayla made the “chhhhhh” sounds (I initially thought that was a sound effect made by GarageBand or something). I don’t only feel passion about their music when I read the interview answers for the first time, I also felt a sense of playfulness too. I guess that’s why I feel Swell explains what their band is probably all about. And that’s really what that song is about, a sense of “doing great no matter what external influences there are,” Chad tells me. But there’s more to having fun with their music, like I said before they really want to reflect on the world around them. Sometimes the best way to get to know a musician is to intimately listen to what they are saying or at least try to say in their songs, and that rings very true to these guys. I find their two songs Beautifully High and Swell to be my favorites, so you guys definitely should listen to them and even try to see life in their viewpoints.
“Our music reflects the essence of the absence of culture in the general sense. It goes against traditionalism in some ways. I guess it reflects the modern culture in a sense.”
-Cayla J. Louw (11/26/2019)
Prior to the new year, Chad and Cayla released their last 2019 production called Paper Mache Moon. However, I don’t believe it is available in my area so I wasn’t able to listen to it, but everyone who can should tell me what they think in the comments or even on social media! Meanwhile they’re focusing on growing their audience, touring, and making more music. There’s definitely going to be more updates for these guys in the future so I will keep everyone updated.