ODD CIRCUS: Improvisational Avant Jazz/Rock Trio Issues Mind-Bending Cover Of Sonic Youth’s “The Wonder”

Photo by Trevor Hall

Improvisational avant jazz/rock trio ODD CIRCUS today unveils a cover of Sonic Youth’s “The Wonder.” The track is a special digital-only single and follows the band’s critically lauded Arch Nova EP released in June.

ODD CIRCUS‘ music explores the suspension of space and time navigating a boundary-less sonic landscape that embraces the unknown and welcomes the bizarre. The result is an experimental style of psychedelic art-rock that weaves its way into garage, fusion, krautrock, no wave, post-rock, noise, hard psych, and sci-fi prog.

Notes the band of the cover track, “Sonic Youth’s music is eternally powerful stuff. Listening to any of their records, you quickly realize this music comes from a deeply inspired place that has zero concern for conventions or categories. As a band we feel extremely connected to that notion The idea that your music must sound like this or that, or be structured in a certain way, or be easily describable –Sonic Youth continually proved all of that is bullshit. ‘The Wonder’ felt right at home in the ODD CIRCUS world. It’s heavy and driving with a wicked melody, and the middle section leaves us plenty of room to improvise and do our thing. We recorded this coming off four straight days of strictly free improv sessions, so it was refreshing to stretch a different muscle and explore how to insert our sound into something pre-written.”

Stream ODD CIRCUS’ rendition of “The Wonder” at THIS LOCATION.

“The Wonder” was recorded on July 28th, 2020 by ODD CIRCUS, mixed by the band with Crews Carter, mastered by Joseph Carra at Crystal Mastering, and features cover art by Anatolii Mironow.

The single is currently available on all digital platforms HERE.

After operating underground for several years, ODD CIRCUS — saxophonist Graham Robertson, drummer Partin Whitaker, and bassist/sound engineer Crews Carter — debuted their first release, Lunatic Children in 2019, and soon amassed a cult following on Instagram. The band re-entered the studio in July 2020 and kicked off the first of a series of releases from these sessions in April 2021 with Mantha — a bold six-track EP imagining aural visitations from supernatural creatures — followed in June by Arch Nova — a post-apocalyptic-themed release mixing heavy improvisation with more expansive psychedelia.

Together the EPs attempt to blaze an original path in the world of improvised music. “It’s the kind of thing that fans of Zappa, Mike Patton, Cardiacs, The Residents, etc. are gonna eat up,” wrote BrooklynVegan, adding, “and like all of those artists, ODD CIRCUS really earn the right to be as weird as possible. It’s not that the music isn’t self-indulgent, it’s just that they make self-indulgence sound really fucking awesome.” The Prog Space lauded the band’s, “bizarre sound [that] takes you to a quick extraterrestrial adventure,” Avant Music News championed, “…an intense and structured jam session that never lets up. It manages to be both spacious and full of notes, making it an enjoyable and rewarding experience,” while The Big Takeover crowned it plainly, “compelling.” PopMatters concurred writing, “The music on the two EPs is absolutely delightful. From piece to piece, bouts of metallic jazz insanity, modulated noises, and wacky synths groove around syncopated drum patterns. They paint a paranoid vision of a part supernatural, part palpable post-apocalyptic world. The most delicious nightmare ever.”

With a slew of future releases on the horizon, the band’s sonic universe is clearly just beginning to open up. Or as Distorted Sound Magazine put it, “ODD CIRCUS are building something unique, that scintillates with creativity and intrigue.”