Tom Odell’s short EP, promising future


Alex Burnham, Reporter

Listeners of Great Britain’s Critics’ Choice winner Tom Odell can find the singer on many lists of up-and-coming artists this year. These indexes include both BBC’s “Sound of 2013” and MTV’s “Brand New.” His debut EP, “Songs from Another Love,” released April 30, propelled the 22-year-old artist into the spotlight and projected his voice internationally. After releasing a promising-but-brief compilation, Odell appears to be on a commercial track destined for success.

“Songs from Another Love” contains four tracks, each about three to four minutes long. From the vein of Ed Sheeran and, in some respects, James Blake, Odell recounts the agonies of love in his recent song collection. His adroit lyricism pairs well with his instrumental talent, combining to create a unique musical style.

“I want to cry, and I want to love, but all my tears have been used up,” he sings in “Another Love.” Odell’s dexterous fingers embrace the ivory keys of his piano, an incredible melody hiding in the sound waves that follow. Odell’s beautiful music resonates, though he suggests love may be impossible this time. The melancholy in his voice never dissipates. Odell merely says, “Words, they always win, but I know I’ll lose.”

Yet his seductive voice continues to arrest attention, regardless of his lachrymose lyrics. And not every song on his EP reeks with sadness. Cymbals crash and tom-toms burst with basic sound in “Hold Me,” the three-minute finale of “Songs from Another Love.” Odell practically shouts throughout the track, forgoing any introspective mumbling and instead expressing the joy of a bursting heart. “Oh when you hold me, yeah I’m picking up the stars.”

Odell seems to suggest love may ultimately triumph despite the untenable odds. He questions the possibility in “Sense,”  the crawling, penultimate song on his EP. “If I fell in love a thousand times, would it all make sense?” he whispers above the cadence of a rhythmic piano. Odell certainly has hope, perhaps even naivete, for the existence of amour.

This type of romance may plague Odell’s music, becoming the looming specter of cliched and banal lyricism. But, for now, the singer from Chichester, England, establishes his own style despite the antiquated topic of love.