If there’s one thing we can trust Tom Odell to do, it’s to write lyrics that fit but, in a way, don’t fit. I don’t know how to describe his style, but I’ll try by just saying his lyrics feel like an incoherent conversation, like you know where this is going, but you’re always in the dark as to what’s coming next. I hate comparing artists, but Odell’s music always reminds me of Sufjan Stevens.
“I was twenty days clean yesterday / I get a key ring if I make it through to May / Can we talk? Is that okay?” he sings in the opening verse of his new song “The End,” before asking whether his “friend” would care to walk to “a rose garden in the North side of the park.”
“Do you remember when Taylor Hawkins died? / Did you see his son playin’ the drums live? / It made me sad, did it make you cry? / I thought of you, I don’t know why,” he goes on to sing in the second verse, his gentle voice dripping like honey over each line. The violin and cello accompaniment gives the song a kind of spiritual air, as he wonders whether “we have reached the end.”
“The End” is a teaser that more Odell is coming in the New Year. Black Friday – his sixth studio album and second as an independent artist – will be released on January 26, 2024. The album is a 13-track project featuring a voice note.
Tom Odell said of the album, “I recorded these songs between last winter and the spring of this year. I tried to leave them as ‘unproduced’ as possible with the hope that they would be the truest reflection of how I felt in that time. These songs mean a lot to me, and I can’t wait for you to hear them. This album means a lot to me.”