Odario Willams wears many hats and describes himself as a raconteur, an actor and a DJ, currently hosting CBC Music’s afterdark program. As a founding member of Grand Analog, he has received considerable praise and critical acclaim, co-writing songs for three albums, three EPs along with several singles.nnListen along with us on Spotify.
Photograph by Lindsay Duncan
ERYKAH BADU & ANDRE 3000 - HELLO (2015)
This song is the product of a real life love story. Erykah & Andre met in the late 90s and had a baby boy named Seven Sirius. As a young man, Seven assisted his parents, now separated, on this reunion track between two soulmates. So serious, indeed.
GREGORY PORTER - HEY LAURA (2013)
Jazz vocalist Gregory Porter takes us to church with this heartbreaking tune about confronting a lover about their intentions. Gregory Porter has one of the smoothest voices in the game... he could recite the dictionary and bring tears to your eyes.
JENNIFER CASTLE - CRYING SHAME (2018)
Canadian crooner Jennifer Castle has been crying herself to sleep after a series of breakups, and decided to write a song about it. This gorgeous tune sounds like a river of blues, bad moods and booze. It hurts so good.
ADELE - LOVESONG (2011)
For years I believed that The Cure is the type of band that should never be covered by anyone. They are simply too unique to be tampered with. BUT, I quickly changed my mind when hearing Adele tackle one of her mother's favourite songs. An intimate and hypnotic version.
PRINCE - CASE OF YOU (PIANO & MIC VERSION) (1983)
Imagine catching Prince, by chance, performing with just a piano in a rundown hotel bar at 3am on a rainy night with absolutely no one in the room. Just the two of you. That's what this song sounds like. Oh, and he happens to be singing your favourite Joni Mitchell love songs.
VALERIE JUNE - LOVE TOLD A LIE (2018)
Coincidently, when stricken by the blues, it's best to sit back and, well, listen to THE BLUES. Jackson, Tennessee born musician Valerie June comes from the blues. Here, she pours her heart out with that unique recognizable voice. Authentic, with raw grit.
MC LYTE - POOR GEORGIE (1991)
In a time when women rappers were so few and far between, MC Lyte was one of the smoothest, most prolific emcees to emerge out of the 80s. Her storytelling is solid on this track. It's a song about a long lost lover named George. The Jackson 5 sample is brilliantly used as well.
GRANDMAGNETO - TAINTED LOVE (2007)
The entire globe is fully aware of Soft Cell's 1981 take on this infectious tune. It was written in the early 60s by Ed Cobb, and released as a single in 1964 by Gloria Jones. But ironically, this 2007 cover of Tainted Love sounds older, and more retro, than the two previous versions.
ROBYN - BABY FORGIVE ME (2018)
At times, it can be difficult to utter these two simple words: "I'm sorry". But on this hot tune, dancefloor legend Robyn makes begging for forgiveness sound so sexy.
CORINNE BAILEY RAE - IS THIS LOVE (2010)
You can barely recognize this classic Bob Marley single. The original reggae vibe was stripped clean. Jazz was replaced, in all the right places. Corinne Bailey Rae's vocal performance will put you in a cozy trance, and make you want to push rewind every time.
ANDY SHAUF - TO YOU (2016)
Andy Shauf is a wonderful storyteller. On this tune he takes you to a party in Saskatchewan, where he finds himself spilling his heart out to a friend... professing his love. Only to be rejected and humiliated in the end. The track is slow and cinematic. You can practically see the event take place.
NONAME feat RAVYN LENAE - MONTEGO BAE (2018)
This is the wittiest love song on my list. Sharp rhymes over a free jazz inspired hip-hop groove. Chicago poet Noname dreams about finding real love in far away places. It'll make you feel like you're attending a spoken word event at your local coffee house.
THUNDERCAT - SHOW YOU THE WAY (2017)
Here, Thundercat expresses his undying love for 80s yacht-rock music. By doing so, he invited two of the best yacht-rockers in the business to accompany him... Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. Brilliant. This saucy tune sounds like 1982 happening all over again.
MARVIN GAYE - YOU CAN LEAVE, BUT IT'S GOING TO COST YOU (1978)
To make a long story short, Marvin Gaye and Anna Gordy (sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy) were having a divorce. The judge ordered Marvin to record an album. The proceeds would go straight to Anna, as a settlement. Marvin responded by recording the quiet classic, "Here, My Dear". Listen to it.