Omi Lee’s second single of 2020, ‘Exotic Spaces’, is an endearingly wistful track that will leave you daydreaming.
Despite describing it as ‘endearingly wistful’ though, it was the track’s brooding verse riff that first caught my ear. There’s something distinctly threatening about it – as if walking into a saloon in an old wild west film, all stern eyes on you, with Omi Lee (vocals, guitar and synths), Gary Wilkinson (drums and guitar) and Darren Frigon (bass) playing in the corner by the bar. It’s this ominous air that drew me in, even moreso when Omi Lee’s ethereal vocals begin to drift over the riff and gentle drums.
It’s not long before the tone of the song changes, and ‘endearingly wistful’ becomes appropriate – from the first verse into the chorus, the drums double time into a steady beat, and the guitars brighten along with a hopeful tone to Omi Lee’s voice. The intriguing dichotomy of tone in ‘Exotic Spaces’ is illustrated in its lyrical matter; “Exotic Spaces is a song about romantic musings,” Omi Lee explains, “getting caught up in a memory and leaning on at that moment when reality isn’t enough.” The bright and hopeful majority of the track represents those musings. While being occasionally being pulled back into reality, we find a sense of bliss in the memories as the vocals soar and dreamy guitar tones outro the song.
If you’re a fan of Wolf Alice, you’ll find this track might have a similar effect on you that ‘Bros’ or ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ does; ‘Exotic Spaces‘ carries a certain serenity with it. The calming, yet touching final chorus can immerse you in a nostalgia of your choosing, and perhaps ease your stress a little.