Addiction is a hell of a drug. Nobody expects it, but it looms in the background. The thrill wears off quickly, and the loss of productivity lingers for much longer. Individuals with depression, anxiety, and mental illness see the results of addiction acutely awfully.
Nodis is no stranger to this world and can sing about sobriety with a hard-fought stance. His lyricism feels that additional poignancy. Currently squeaky clean, he still remembers what it was like to live life in a blur. While that is glamourized constantly in pretty much all forms of media, that media usually is created by those who have not experienced the dark side of what that means. Nodis does. A lack of ambition, hurt relationships, missed calls, and broken connections all play an essential role in what it means to live a life lacking sobriety. Eventually, this disconnection results in a loss.
That is why “I just fell in love off of drugs” resonates deeply. Numb is no way to live. Love requires real connection, something drugs never provide. So, the joy that Nodis expresses in that one verse has absolute power, and he delivers it as such. For somebody speaking from experience, there is that strength of finding love after all of it. Underpinning this is a laid-back groove, one where the beats hit with a celebratory spirit, a happiness that feels doubly refreshing after feeling so lost for so long.
Matthew Topper remixes Offdrugs in a way that accentuates the positivity of the original. The groove snaps into shape immediately with a neat tech house spirit that recalls Vitalic’s early work. He takes the mellowed guitar lick and speeds it up. Everything here rushes forward full of a lust for life, precisely what Nodis sings about, his love off of drugs. Lots of it grows and builds itself up. Over the course of the track, Matthew proves to pay attention to the smallest of details. Production further accentuates this strength as the sound has a polished quality.
Pitch shifts add to the uninhibited freedom that dance music represents and dovetail into the overall spirit. Much of the work takes that original sound, making it even more ecstatic. The rush of the percussion makes it deliriously happy at certain specific moments. The vocals are treated carefully and with compassion for all the edits, he makes on the original. At certain times the songs have an even greater prominence, for Matthew pulls it all back for that extra dramatic feature. Making the vocals the only reference point sometimes adds to both songs’ blissed-out take.
Considering the origins of both tracks, heavily in dance, pop, and hip-hop, it is remarkably refreshing to have a sobriety-centric message. Given all the people around the world that self-medicate, it is an unusual stance to take of simply embracing life at face value, losing that numbness to the world, and regaining joy in the small moments of love.