If there’s a certain youthful diffidence surrounding the remarkable Tom Odell it’s tempered with a sense of self-awareness which totally belies his mere 21 years on this planet. A beguiling mixture of idealism (he wants the music to do the talking, preferably releasing one album a year) and self confidence (he seems to exist happily in his own musical world) becomes somewhat incendiary when coupled with music so magnificently formed as that on his debut album. Because, if the craft of song-writing is one which is often seen as unfashionable to discuss, for this young Chichester-born maverick, the song is everything.
Tom’s personal musical tastes include such diverse pleasures as “Hunky Dory” era Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, Cat Power, Leonard Cohen, Rufus Wainwright, James Blake, Beach House and pre “Goodbye yellow Brick Road” Elton John.
That songs of such maturity could spring from someone so young should not be surprising when you hear Tom discuss his love of film and his reading pleasures, which range through classics like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kerouac and Hemingway, to Woody Allen, Wes Anderson and Hal Ashby. Despite much of his music being celebratory, there is also a sense with this artist that the expression of melancholy is equally as important. At 21 he manages to express emotions in as acute and accurate a fashion as many of the classic artists he so admires. It’s an unusual gift at any time but, right now, with much of the music world enthralled to instant gratification, the fact that Tom Odell’s songs have emerged in as pure and soulful a manner is extraordinary. He is the real deal, which anyone who has seen him fervently searching through the racks at Rough Trade will testify – an amazing young artist who is already so in love with music that he is planning his second album, even before the release of his debut.
Together with his band, who Tom credits with adding a heightened sense of power to the songs, Tom Odell will be supporting Jake Bugg in November 2013. His debut EP “Songs From Another Love” was released digitally on October 29, and he has just finished his amazing debut album.
Tom Odell headlined Dot to Dot Festival 2013.