Tom Odell has been generating some serious buzz. After landing a supporting gig for both Jake Bugg's and Michael Kiwanuka's upcoming tours, Odell's popularity has continued to rise and his debut EP has been acclaimed by critics and bloggers alike. Hailing from Chichester originally, the singer songwriter cut his teeth working the live circuit in Brighton
Here's the lead single which introduced me to Odell in the first place and I have to say; this could be a contender for my favourite song this year. The lyrics are gut-wrenchingly emotional and I love how the track builds up from a tender piano-based beginning into this maelstrom of pain and anguish that just sweeps you up. It's intense but in the best way possible. I almost wish I was in the middle of a break up or some kind of emotional disaster just so this could become my go-to song. With this track alone, Tom Odell sets himself as a serious contender on the music scene next year. But what about the rest of the EP?
"And if somebody hurts you, I wanna fight, But my hands been broken, one too many times"
The second track off 'Songs From Another Love' is a slower affair than the lead single, which shows off a more tender side to Odell. The cracks in his voice lend an authenticity to the song; its as if you're sitting in some small venue with Odell performing right there in the room with you. That is until the backing vocals kick in around the second chorus. Again though, the lyrics brim with a vulnerability which is quite uncommon for most male singers and which marks Odell out as a unique artist to watch.
"I've been feeling pretty small, sometimes I feel like I'm slipping down walls"
'Can't Pretend' could be considered a companion piece to 'Another Love', matching the single in its intensity and raw emotion. However, the song has a clear identity of its own and could easily become another single if Odell decided to release more tracks from the EP. I love his voice on the song, as it swings between the powerful choruses and downbeat verses. Odell's ad libs remind me slightly of Matt Bellamy if he reigned it in more but again, its worth noting that Odell has a unique style of his own and the comparisons don't necessarily do the man justice. You just have to listen to the EP for yourself. Try out 'Can't Pretend' by clicking below.
"I guess that's love but I can't pretend"
Stay Tonight (Demo)
If this is what Odell is capable of in a demo, then imagine what the album will be like when it is finished! I hope that when the production for 'Stay Tonight' is polished up, the track retains its impact. The verses in this one don't grab me as immediately as they do in the other tracks as they're a bit too quiet for me, even with headphones, but the chorus is another winner which would sound great among a larger collection of his songs. It's also nice to hear Odell use a more guitar based sound to mix things up, moving away occassionally from the piano. I haven't been able to find a video for the song so far so preview it on iTunes or Amazon if you want to hear more.
"And if I say I was wrong, is that right?"
Watch this space guys. Odell is set to be huge in 2013, already appearing on the shortlist for the Brits 2013 Critics Choice Award and the longlist for the BBC Sound of 2013 award. Previous winners have been HUGELY successful and regardless of Odell's eventual placing in each list, I predict big things for him when his album is released. The so far untitled release is tentatively set to become available in June 2013, but this may alter as the time draws nearer. I for one cannot wait to hear more from Odell, who may even release more EPs in the run up to his full studio release. I'm seeing him play at Komedia in Brighton at the beginning of March and it's going to be amazing!
So what do you think? Are you a fan of Tom Odell's work so far? Do you have a favourite song? And how do you think he'll fare in the critics lists? Let me know by liking, commenting and sharing below. Thanks!