Global trekker and Byron Bay-based singer-songwriter, producer and eco warrior Billy Otto offers up his latest labour of love. Let Me Loose is a regenerative war cry that appeals to the inner-child and offers up unrivalled access to a divine sense of freedom.
Billy Otto’s sound lands somewhere between Radiohead and The Beatles. With confessional choruses, apprehending lyrics and sun-drunk vocals, Billy’s desire to stir audiences is self-evident. Finding global success over the last 4 years, Billy has toured over 30 countries, building a loyal following in Brazil, Sweden, USA, Japan and selling out shows in Australia with his raw and energetic presence.
Following the release of an eminent cover of The Cranberries’ Dreams with Kyle Lionhart and Our Song with a non-for profit collaboration for The Tambah Project, Billy Otto returns felicitously with a solo single. Crystalised by a chorus that you feel you’ve heard a thousand times before, Let Me Loose envelops you in pure nostalgia. This comforting familiarity of the 60s and 70s is felt through Otto’s warm-bodied falsetto harmonies and via a haven of George Harrison inspired hooks.
This infectious bout of blithe was conjured amidst a moment of bitterness at the end of a relationship. Yet Otto sought to confront the indignation:
“And I just felt this dark sense of yearning for validation. I really felt resentful. But there was a calming spirit that came over me as I tuned my acoustic guitar low and just started strumming hard like I was from a 1968 Americana country rock band. The words ‘let me loose’ flowed out of my mouth and the entire song came together in the next 24 hours.”
Much like the letting go of a loved one, Let Me Loose meditates on the decoupling from the fundamentilist religion Billy Otto has felt “baked in.” Born into the Seventh Day Adventist church, Otto became a pastor and an international speaker. Otto explains, “I was so committed to my creed that in my honest zeal I lost many friends, left rock music for 10 years, judged a lot of people and found myself in a continuous loop of guilt believing that I wasn’t doing enough for the Kingdom of Heaven.”
On this latest release, Otto prays to the divinity within oneself and turns away from the shame that the toxic template of faith is so often steeped in. Hey says, “This is by no means a resignation of a former faith, but an assertion of the deepening of an existing faith. I had to lose God in order to find God.”
Weapsonised by his archetypal confessional language, Otto’s brutal imagery is dissolved in sunny chords and flamboyant keys. Let Me Loose is the breaking free from the subconscious wrestle; from a past self, a broken relationship and a belief system that no longer serves you. Painting the numbers of his message with colourful, inclusive brushstrokes, this song is ultimately a joyous conduit for togetherness and unity through music.
In a time of global crisis let the intimate polymath that is Billy Otto offer you an alternative elixir to life. The answers for nourishment and hope are already within. Observe them, honour them and let them let you go.
“On my ankle I’ve tied an anchor / Give me an answer and I’ll cut myself free.”
From the flow state genesis, Jarrah-Ferris Smith (@jarrahmusic) tied up the initial writing session and from there producer Caleb Tasker (g Flip, Tuka, Lil Spacely) was the Lennon to Otto’s McCartney in his studio in Marrickville. Let Me Loose was also co-produced and mixed by Caleb Harris in Chicago. The sheer athleticism of the drums and colourful West African percussion was performed by Bobby Alu and mastered to perfection by Trent Dobson (Angus