Leaving Thomas: they sing, they dance & they’re ready to make their mark
BY: BEN PAPAGEORGE
Comprised of Annika Odegard and Bryton Udy, Leaving Thomas is an energetic contemporary country duo based out of Calgary, Alberta. This past January, Leaving Thomas released their self-titled debut EP which features lead track “Waiting Kind Of Girl” along with their current single “Blame It On The Neon”.
The journey to this point for Leaving Thomas hasn’t been a short one. According to the duo, some of the songs had already been written and they were performing them for over 2 years before the EP released.
“It feels a little surreal to be honest,” says Bryton who is excited to finally have these songs out for the world to enjoy. Annika shares the same feeling of excitement that their fans finally get to hear what they have been working on.
To celebrate their official debut, Leaving Thomas threw an EP release party in Calgary last month. One of their favourite parts of any show that they play is when they hear the crowd singing back to them. Having friends, family, members of their team, and fans attend the show in their hometown was extremely meaningful for the duo.
Being an avid Whitney Houston fan made a particular moment very special for Annika; when they sang “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and everyone joined in.
“It was a moment of fun that we were looking forward to sharing with the audience, and I think it was something that nobody was expecting” she says.
Both Annika and Bryton have a background in musical theatre so choreography and dancing is nothing new to them. During the performance for “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, the duo broke out a dance sequence that was planned months in advance but only rehearsed a week before the show. It came especially easy to Annika because she says she’s been singing and dancing to that song since she was a kid but to do it with Bryton “made it even better”.
The EP which was written both at home and in Nashville is deeply rooted in personal experience. Neither member of the duo had a favourite moment specifically from creating the EP but just being in the studio and hearing their songs come to life is something they say is always an exciting part of being an artist.
“Bryton and I were involved in every part of the process, so it’s difficult to choose a favourite moment,” says Annika. Bryton adds that the “most exciting part is taking the skeleton of a song and taking it up a notch in the studio.”
Leaving Thomas contains 8 tracks and there are certain cuts that the pair were especially excited for fans to hear prior to its release. For Bryton, it’s “Shame On Me”. “It’s a song on the record that Annika and I wrote, just the two of us. It has been one of my favourites from the day we wrote it. It’s received a great response when we’ve performed it live and also from those who have listened to it when we released it on our Unplugged at OCL Studios project.”
Annika had a hard time picking just one but when pressed chose “Thinking” because prior to the EP’s release, nobody had heard the record as Leaving Thomas had never performed it live.
2018 should prove to be a big year for Leaving Thomas as they have plenty to look forward to.
“We can’t wait to get out on stage and perform for fans across the country. Recording an album is a wonderful part of what we do as artists but my favourite thing to do is perform the songs live in front of an audience,” says Annika.
“Last summer we got our feet wet in the festival circuit and we are ready to dive in this summer. Now that the EP is out, we can’t wait to share these songs with fans in a live environment and also share some songs that may be on the next EP already,” adds Bryton.
Keep an eye on Top Country for everything on Leaving Thomas and where the duo might be next!