Tag Archive: Jeff Buckley


Tom Odell wins Brits Critics’ Choice Award

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A 22-year-old British singer-songwriter, whose career took off after he was championed by Lily Allen, has become the first man to win the Brits Critics’ Choice Award.

Chichester-born Tom Odell has been tipped to break out in the coming year, with the critics’ award following a nomination for the BBC’s Sound of 2013 earlier this month.

The Brits first awarded the critics’ choice for an up and coming British musician in 2008 when it went to Adele. Since then artists including Jessie J, Florence and the Machine and Emili Sande have been honoured. Runners up for this year’s award were electro pop duo AlunaGeorge and Laura Mvula.

Odell said he was “thrilled and honoured” to win the award. “Looking at the list of amazing female artists who have won the award already, I just hope I don’t let the boys down.”

Odell, who has been writing songs for the best part of a decade, wrote and recorded his debut album over the summer.

His style has been compared to American singer Jeff Buckley, who died in 1997. After his nomination for the Sound of 2013, the BBC described his style as: “Vulnerability married to memorable melody.”

Lily Allen, now Lily Rose Cooper, was alerted to Odell by a friend and she signed him to her label. It came after just four gigs.

Odell’s energy onstage “reminded me of David Bowie,” Cooper said. She told the NME: “His voice is fragile yet powerful and he sings mainly love songs,” adding: “It’s not soppy and moany at all, it’s energetic and insightful. And he’s totally gorgeous as well.”

This year the Brits will introduce its first global success award, aimed at honouring British acts that have achieved huge success overseas. Adele, Mumford & Sons and One Direction are likely to be front runners for the inaugural award.

This year, James Corden will return to present the awards ceremony on 20 February, handing the winning acts statuettes designed by Damien Hirst.

The charity War Child will receive a Special Recognition award on its 20th anniversary, after helping 800,000 children in war-torn countries. The Outstanding Contribution prize, which went to Blur last year, has been dropped.

by nick clark for independent.co.uk

Tom Odell: Promising The New Piano Man.

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Hometown: Chichester.

The lineup: Tom Odell (vocals, piano).

The background: We went to see a new singer-songwriter called Joe Banfi the other night at the Social in London. He did that gruff post-Buckley thing that young musicians of a certain type tend to do these days. The room was hushed when he sang his raw ballads of infidelity, and the applause when he finished verged on the rapturous. This fellow, we thought, is going to make some (quietly emotional, increasingly torrential on the chorus) noise in 2013. But now we’ve heard Tom Odell and we’re not so sure. If the male troubadour niche isn’t quite as crowded as the female soul one, there are still contenders out there, some of them serious (although whatever did happen to Marcus Foster?). Can more than one make it? Let’s see.

The space may already have been filled by Jake Bugg, even if Odell’s music is more florid and arranged than the Nottingham boy’s – he’s classically trained, you know. We’re still not sure what that means, or what effect being classically trained has on the student’s compositions because we’re not exactly talking Mozart here, but certainly there are voices stacked on top of voices and there are strings that swell as the singing becomes more passionate.

Still only 21, he’s signed to a major – the same one, incidentally, as the aforementioned Jeff – and we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that one or two of them over at the label have muttered something about them having signed a Brit boy capable of a Grace. Although blond, he has a similarly tousled yet haunted quality. Those good looks, and that boyish sensitivity, have already won him, or at least his music, favour in the fashion world, as it featured during a recent Burberry show.

There are four tracks on his debut EP and they range from averagely resonant to rivetingly sad. You may consider that Odell’s performance on the song Sense is quite mannered or you may feel it genuinely captures what it feels like to experience real pain. It’s like James Blake without the dubstep, the sound of one man perilously close to cracking up. It starts as just a voice and piano before he is joined by a series of humming, harmonising Odells. Another Love is equally ripe as Odell once again becomes his very own choir of fallen rough-boy angels. “If somebody hurts you I want to fight … so I use my voice, I’ll be so fuckin’ rude,” he croaks. Anger, betrayal, confusion, despair – and that’s just us. Stay Tonight is just a demo, to be fair, but it does suggest that, unadorned and allowed to bellow, he could be just another advert for hoarse lassitude, a solo Stereophonic. Which we really don’t need in 2013 at all.

The buzz: “He falls into a space that borders James Blake’s minimalistic territory, yet spills over into Alex Clare‘s soulful emotionality” –trendland.com.

The truth: It is really rather affecting, or a simulacrum of emotionality – you decide.

Most likely to: Have a nice day.

Least likely to: Wear a tramp’s vest.

What to buy: The Songs from Another Love EP is released by Columbia.

File next to: Joe Banfi, Jeff Buckley, Kelly JonesPassenger.

Links: tomodell.com.

(reviewed by: paul lester for guardian.co.uk)

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