Indie rockers Oriah are here to wow you with their brand new single, “You Done It Now,” not to mention their other tunes, which can further explore via Spotify. The latest song, however, pulls from several influences and genres, accomplishing the unlikely task of blending appealing vocal harmonies over an electric beat, with uptempo guitar riffs and gritty vocals that harken back to the days of vintage garage rock. Somehow this is all done coherently and it’s representative of the duo’s no-rules mentality.
Commenting on the track, guitarist Tim Webb said, “Things happen, you write about them, you pour your heart and soul into them, and then you give it and the meaning away. The song and the meaning is yours now. Enjoy.” Webb makes up one-half of this inventive duo, with the rest of the credit going to singer and guitarist Viktoriya Kosta. Based in Los Angeles, they are a mysterious pair who would prefer that the music do the talking. As evidenced by Webb’s above quote, they don’t like to reveal very much about their songwriting process because they want to leave their songs completely open to interpretation in an effort to allow listeners to really consider what they’re hearing and attach their own meanings to the music.
Musically, Oriah has been heavily influenced by Joan Jett The Black Keys and jazz legend Miles Davis in particular, and have thus far made inroads in their hometown, playing many of LA’s hottest clubs like The Echo and The Troubadour. In a live setting, Webb and Kosta like to keep it fresh which is why they maintain a revolving door of musicians from other bands who provide their musical assistance for certain shows.
With 2020 here and a new single to build off of, Oriah are planning to release more music throughout this year. In the meantime, we chatted with them about “You Done It Now,” the retro sound of the track, and what that they have in store for us next. In answering our questions, they chose to do it anonymously without identifying which member answered which question. As they stated for themselves, “We aren’t going to outline who answered what because just like if it was a real conversation or an in person interview, the sentences would be a give and take and we both contribute to the question’s answers. View us as one.”
Oriah also wanted to make an effort to highlight the mixing console used to mix the track; “Classic 1971 Quad Eight 2082 Recording Console API Neve Helios. It was the Village Recorders console bought by Bob Dylan and he brought it to Shangri-Las in Malibu in 1976. Used to reside at Route-2 recording studio in Eagle Rock, California. This console was in Shangri-La from 1976-1985 present during Rob Fraboni as main engineer with projects including: Joe Cocker (including “You Are So Beautiful”), Wayne Shorter, The Band’s Northern Lights – Southern Cross, Eric Clapton’s No Reason to Cry, Wayne Shorter’s Native Dancer, Bonnie Raitt’s Green Light, Tim Hardin’s Unforgiven and Blondie Chaplin’s self-titled solo debut.”
“You Done It Now” has a really nice groove and pace to it. How did you come up with the guitar riff for this track?
Oriah: “We quickly came up with the chords for the verse with an unplugged Strat and started writing lyrics to the the saucy grove. To be honest, this was the first track that we started writing with no real direction and was a complete combined effort. Like no one brought anything to the table. Just playing off each other. Chorus and little pre-chorus tags just fell into place and the bridge was an accident. Fully formed as a song in two hours and then it really revealed itself for what it really was once we started playing it out and noticing that it’s a real strutter of a vibe.
Once in the studio (our) ideas (are) pretty firm and etched out with a clear direction. Most of the guitar on the track was through an American pro Strat though an original Fender Princeton 68 and an AC30 Vox from original live takes then overdubs were added with a 63 Kay semi-hollow and Fender Deluxe.”
There’s a fun, kind of foot stomping, head bobbing beat to the song that sounds like a real throwback to old garage rock. Was it your intention to make this more of a retro sounding track?
Oriah: “It felt retro to us from the start really and we just stayed true to that. We instantly envisioned a kind of track that could be played in 40 years and give a kind of nostalgia and independence. Like a Christopher Walken take on a James Bond intro and theme.”
I also enjoyed the distorted vocals used on “You Done It Now.” Did you experiment with several different vocal mixes or did you just know that this is the type of vocal sound you wanted on this track?
Oriah: “Yeah we did have some grit in mind and the slapback feel was an initial tracking decision, where we set up three mics to blend and have control. We did go through several different levels with more heavy slapback and heavily distorted and even cleaner tone on the front end with capturing the performance. But we also passed the mix off at a certain point to mastermind Keith Gretlein (whose credits are not small) to take it where it needed to go. We used a Neuman u48 a northern electric running 635a and the other one is a secret.”
To see and hear more of what Oriah is all about, watch the music video for “Bone To Pick”:
Since forming, you have remained a duo who together seem to have no shortage of musical chemistry. How did you both initially meet and what made you decide to write and record together?
Oriah: “Met at an open mic in LA, then started to play on each other’s solo projects as well as both interestingly being asked to be in a writing room with a pop/EDM producer friend to help write and be featured on an EP. And through that process I think is how it was obvious that we worked together on a level that we hadn’t felt before and just wanted to keep going like an addiction to that feeling.”
From what I understand you’re continuing to work on new music. What do you have in the works and is it going to be released as an album or EP or are you content just releasing singles right now?
Oriah: “Releasing singles has ran its course for us currently. It feels a little cheap and not pushing us enough. We knew we wanted to release some singles from the start and not try to lock into an album or EP right away because we were evolving so fast in our writing styles and knew there would be an arc of development in our sound and writing styles as we continued. We have a huge influence of music and we felt like we couldn’t honestly even say what Oriah was at first but didn’t want to hold back because there is so much that is learned from making a single and taking things start to finish. And rewarding. Currently tracking an EP and it’s starting to take shape. Who knows though it may turn into a full album by the end of it.”