Singer/songwriter AJ Odneal has been making up songs from a very young age. “I remember writing little goofy songs growing up,” she said. But her songwriting quickly found a purpose.
“In middle school, I started writing songs for the purpose of processing what I was feeling,” Odneal explained. “And that’s what songwriting has really become for me.”
Odneal’s indie folk style music is heavily influenced by pop and jazz. She uses both the guitar and ukulele to accompany her smooth vocals and clever lyrics.
Odneal’s latest EP is called “No One Is a Constellation By Themself.” “That song is about community,” she said about the title track. “It’s about knowing that we’re all pretty cool, and we’re much cooler when we’re with other people and supporting each other.” The song is bubbly and chipper and hummable.
Other songs are more somber. Odneal speaks about the challenging relationship with her late grandmother. “It wasn’t until she had dementia that she cared about me,” she said. “She told me she loved me for the first time as she was dying.” Songwriting helped her come to peace with the complicated emotions that surrounded the experience: It turned into a song called “Didn’t Know My Name.”
The second song Odneal plays is called “Better This Way,” a melancholy yet upbeat song about leaving and moving on.
Coming to peace became a theme for the EP, Odneal said. “Everyone’s a star, but you can’t be a constellation by yourself.”