Honeycomb Live Greece in association with Eventation Greece present:
Tom Odell, a famous English indie pop singer-songwriter, is coming back to Greece
in on June 27th 2023 at Technopolis City of Athens!
Tom Odell has never fit the picture people have of him. “There’s been a perception of my music as a ‘major-label creation’,” says the singer-songwriter with a roll of his eyes. In his early career, perhaps because he arrived on the scene armed with a Brits Critics’ Choice Award, an instantly ubiquitous single (‘Another Love’) and a major label deal, critics doubted his authenticity – as if his knack for a good hook was somehow a mark against him. “I don’t care if people don’t like my music, but anyone who was like, ‘It's a major-label creation,’ I’d be like you have no idea how hard I worked on it.’” says Odell. What’s more, no one ever seemed to know where to put him. “Alternative people think I'm pop, and pop people think I'm alternative...”
He left Sony, let go of external pressures and made the record that felt right in his bones. “I feel so free, so liberated to be an independent artist,” he says. “Honestly there’s a huge amount of relief in this music, of just getting to do exactly what I want to do. I wanted to not cram in as many hooks as I could, not have the chorus at the front of the song, just create an environment where people can sit with the music and breathe.” The result, Best Day Of My Life, he considers to be the best album he’s ever made.
The record is a work of minimalist beauty, comprising just Odell’s voice, a piano and the occasional creak of a stool. Loosely set over the course of a single day, it tackles the emotional peaks and troughs of being alive, exploring family, anxiety, love and despair. “There’s a load of topics on the album that I didn't even intend on writing about,” says Odell – though the musical intention was there from the start. “I've never done an album that was just on the piano, and I thought it would be quite exciting. So the whole album, there’s no other instrument on it. It is just piano and my voice. And that was really incredible to work with those restrictions.”
Odell is a masterful pianist. On each track, the piano is elegant and expansive – hopeful one moment, melancholic the next, always deeply affecting. Odell was inspired by composers Erik Satie and Philip Glass, and he and his songwriting partner Laurie would put Studio Ghibli films on as they wrote, to channel not only the “beautiful landscapes and vistas” of those animations, but also “the feeling of corruption and sadness”.
This is also Odell’s most personal album to date, taking him to some frank, painful places. “The album’s obviously very emotionally vulnerable, but I didn’t want it to be sentimental – it’s like a diamond in the rough. You just want to make sure there’s some dirt around it.”
“I went through a really hard couple of years where I really lost my stability,” he says, “and in a way the album is a journey towards letting go. When I get to that last song, I really feel that journey of arriving somewhere better than you were before.”
Odell has been practising transcendental meditation for the past six years, and he finally allowed the effects of it into his music. “There’s a quiet and calm, not the thrashing there is on the previous album,” he says. “With my last album I just wanted to break some shit. It was tearing at the canvas. It’s a really painful album and I found it uncomfortable to listen to – but with this one I think there are some beautiful moments that I’m really proud of and I think I will continue to be proud of it.”