Out today is the impres­sive new release by One Day, After School enti­tled Are You Awake? It’s a melan­cholic track in which the vocals, left low in the mix, act like an anchor in the mul­ti-lay­ered com­po­si­tion. It starts from a soli­tary piano note through to a nervy clock tick­ing sound before the track starts to build in depth.

This was the track Are You Awake? No longer on Soundcloud… 

Research­ing some of the band’s out­put and then dis­cov­er­ing on that sev­er­al years ago One Day, After School had worked on a sound­track for Simon Armitage’s The Dead Sea Poems, I was curi­ous to find out more about the Wake­field-based band. 

While he was grow­ing up, main song­writer Dean Free­man was – still is – a fan of the influ­en­tial Glagow label Chemikal Under­ground, nat­u­ral­ly enough that includ­ed label cre­ators The Del­ga­dos, and oth­ers such as Mog­wai and Arab Strap – ODAS are named after lyrics of a song by Arab Strap. The influ­ence of Mog­wai can be heard run­ning like a seam through ODAS’s music. And The Del­ga­dos’ singer Emma Pol­lock fea­tures on a beau­ti­ful num­ber called Arc, from 2017. Free­man tells me it was a “dream come true to get her on the track.”

About the Simon Armitage con­nec­tion, Free­man tells me: “I was invit­ed to sub­mit a sound­track com­mis­sion to a lit­er­a­ture fes­ti­val. My first choice was actu­al­ly Har­lan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. We got quite far down the line with per­mis­sions on that but it fell through. Armitage’s The Dead Sea Poems was some­thing I stud­ied at school and it’s sat on my book­shelf gath­er­ing dust since, so I thought it would be inter­est­ing to revis­it it and cre­ate some new music around it. The Lit Fest show sold out and was bril­liant but then he became Poet Lau­re­ate and we could­n’t get per­mis­sion to per­form his words pub­licly any more, so I began cre­at­ing my own sto­ries and it bal­looned into this big con­cept thing.”

Musi­cal­ly, there is a haunt­ing and mys­te­ri­ous qual­i­ty to One Day’s out­put which man­ages to cap­ti­vate your curios­i­ty on that impor­tant first lis­ten. Melan­choly, morose at times, theirs is a beau­ti­ful­ly lay­ered, well-craft­ed and expan­sive sound.

Any­way, back to the lat­est sin­gle, and what’s hap­pen­ing next for ODAS. An EP is set to be released at the end of this month. Free­man and band – Har­ry Rhodes on gui­tar and Dan Hayes on drums – plan to bring out three or so EP’s over the year – anoth­er is planned for May and anoth­er one lat­er in the year. The work could have been put out as a dou­ble album but as Free­man states, that’s a big ask these days. A tour was can­celled for this year. This includ­ed ten new tracks (with bassist Bob John­ston for the upcom­ing live shows) main­ly around West York­shire, and fes­ti­vals. One Day, After School plan to devote more time to the band this year. Which is good for all of their fans, old and new.

Please check for updates on band web­site One Day, After School 

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