Frau Knotz – Odyssey I: 13th Floor’s New Song Of The Day

Aotearoa electronica artist Frau Knotz has today released her first single of 2024, the enigmatic and enchanting new track ‘Odyssey I.

Here is the blurb with more:

Frau KnotzFollowing the success of her 2023 singles Runway of Realityand Cellular, today’s release puts on full display Frau Knotz’s drive to consistently push boundaries. An ethereal and mysterious piece, ‘Odyssey I’ showcases what Frau Knotz does best; emotive storytelling through vocal performance amongst unchartered sonic realms.

A detuned 5-note piano figure emerges from the ocean’s depths to expose a hushed, gorgeous vocal, each sung phrase spaced perfectly to let the story unfold and the soundscape to flourish. A song about the unknown depths of the ocean, lyrically ‘Odyssey I’ is through-composed and freeform, a nod to Caroline Polachek’sPretty In Possible’. Rhythmically elusive, the track percolates with disquiet as subtle, rootless drums beckon the ear to sink deeper into the song until sudden stabs of punchy sub bass burst the dreamlike soundscape, alerting the listener to a sense of sinister danger.

“This piece was composed over 4 Saturday evenings, as an exercise in production. The vocal line is completely improvised with both the melody and lyrics sung in one take, during a single stream of consciousness. The repetitive arpeggiation was essential for getting lost inside the song, to sail over a hypnotic groove in a way that feels good but is entirely unpredictable.” – Frau Knotz (Lauren Nottingham)

‘Odyssey I’ is a tantalising glimpse into the musical brilliance that lies ahead for her debut EP Nextraterrestrial – set for release later this year. Lauren explains: “A consecutive series of 7 vignettes, this EP is a snapshot in time; a documentation of my production journey of 2021-2022. It’s taken years to get to this point, so it’s really special to finally start sharing what I’ve been working on over the past 3 years.” 

Frau Knotz ushers in a spellbinding 3-dimensional visual world for her debut EP, announcing her collaboration with Halfofnothing (Blue Hamel), an LA-based, Christchurch born animation artist and creative director who has worked with the likes of Childish Gambino, Kylie Jenner and Kanye West as well as iconic brands such as Adidas and Louis Vuitton. The first piece of this surrealist puzzle has been revealed with the music video for ‘Odyssey I’ featuring an avatar of herself falling through the depths of the ocean.

Freshly mastered by Joshua Llewellyn at Downbeat Mastering and co-produced and mixed by Sam Johnson at Rhythm Ace Studio, ‘Odyssey I’ takes a deep dive into what lies below, through a maximalist lense; juxtaposing muffled, ambient soundscapes with rarified vocal production, baptised in booming kicks and sub-bass that crash like the moment a 3 tonne, 25-foot shark leapt out of the sea and landed on Quint’s fishing vessel in ‘Jaws’ – “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

If you like cool Electronica you’ll like this. If you UNDERSTAND cool Electronica you’ll LOVE this… Frau Knotz is worth the investment, and I hope to hear more.

– Jack Grabham,

The original songs of singer, pianist, producer and composer Lauren Nottingham have touched down on Earth under the moniker Frau Knotz. Channeling rave nostalgia and Eurodisco, Frau Knotz toggles between whimsical fantasies and dark truths, switches propulsive rhythms and expansive balladry and tunes glamour with gameplay to concoct elixirs of experimental electronica.

2022 was a breakout year for Frau Knotz. After just 3 months of developing her project, she was picked up as the opening act for Trip Change on their North Island tour to celebrate NZ Music Month. The momentum rose in September with the release of her debut single Supernova, the music video of which was featured on MTV Upload and Juice TV. Supernova was premiered exclusively by The Most FM’s Making Tracks series, reviewed by and added to playlists of many independent radio stations nationwide. Festival highlights for 2022 include performing Supernova with a live band curated by the Black Seeds’ frontman Barnaby Weir at TAFT’s Spiegelfest closing night, as well as ending the year with a New Year’s Eve feature performance at Taranaki’s TSB Festival of Lights.

2023 saw two single releases, with her successful sophomore single Runway of Reality hitting over 1.2k views on YouTube, charting on Radio Control’s Top 10 and a well-attended release show at the King’s Theatre in Stratford. Her third single Cellular dropped November 10th, imploring her listeners to think twice about their devices. Her collaboration with 15 year-old dancer Mizaan Turner as a choreographer resulted in a music video and live performance of a curated dance routine to a sold-out crowd at Dancing For Hope Taranaki, an event raising funds for Taranaki Retreat and Mike King’s I Am Hope charity. Festival highlights include her DJ debut at TSB Festival of Lights Winter Pop-Up in July, as well as being a featured guest at the Wellington Jazz Festival in October backed by the Other Futures Big Band.

With all of this under her belt, Frau Knotz is ready to take her live act to crowds further afield. 2024 has begun with an Auckland debut at Whammy Bar, followed by the release of Odyssey I, the first single off her 7-track debut EP Nextraterrestrial, due for release in August 2024. With more music to roll out in the coming months, get ready; Frau Knotz vows to take you on a deep sonic odyssey through her 3-dimensional world.