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Critics Choice – One to Watch for 2013: Tom Odell

The beginning of the New Year can be a pretty dismal time. However, amongst the festive come downs, the new fitness regimes and your pact to eat nothing but lettuce leaves for the foreseeable future, there are some positives that roll in as the clock strikes twelve. The beginning of another year signals the countdown to awards season! The Oscars, The Golden Globes, you name it; hard core preparation is most definitely underway for all of them as we speak. But, whilst everyone loves to ogle the exquisite dresses, which probably cost quadruple the worth of my house, HCX likes to inject the proceedings with a bit of musical culture.

There is no better place to do that than the BRITS, always worth a view since there is guaranteed to be (at least!) one drunken mishap aired to the nation. On top of its trustworthy entertainment value the ceremony celebrates the amazing music that Britain continues to generate. This celebration of British musical talent is epitomised in the BRITS Critics Choice Award. The award has become a prestigious accolade over the years handed out to new artists who are releasing their debut album within the forthcoming year. The winner is chosen by a team of experts including the music editors of national newspapers, key music and lifestyle magazines and music websites.


2013’s winner of the Critic’s Choice Award was given to Chichester born Tom Odell, notably the first male to win the award. Tom has already received masses of praise after releasing his debut EP of songs from Another Love in 2012. After having a listen I’m not surprised at the singer song writer’s success, he has been writing songs since the age of 13 and learnt to play the piano at 7, so it’s been a long time coming. His piano driven melodies are emotive, whilst his gravely vocals are a mixture of Ben Howard’s delicacy and Mumford & Sons emotion, all of which scream commercial success.

His EP generated interest in the industry after Tom preformed the tracks on Later…with Jools Holland. Odell has had backing from other established artists from the start. He gained a record deal after Lily Allen, who tipped the artist for success earlier this year in NME, went to watch a performance of his. It seems it isn’t only the music industry that Tom Odell is set to take by storm either with his single Another Love providing the sound track to Burberry Prorsum’s womenswear Spring/Summer 2013 show.  That being said Tom had to beat of stiff competition to receive this accolade which, it seems, is a sure sign of monumental success. With the likes of Adele (2008), Florence and The Machine (2009), Ellie Goulding (2010), Jesse J (2011) and most recently Emeli Sandé, all previously having won the award it cannot be argued that Odell is in very good company.  The runners up Laura Mvula and duo Aluna George however, are both immensely talented too. Mvula powerful vocals are set against a somewhat ethereal background, which brings a contemporary edge to her classic soulful voice. Whilst Aluna George combine a chilled electro sound with light yet punchy vocals to create a mix of subdued verses interjected with upbeat catchy choruses. Although they may have been pipped at the post, if the success of previous runners up is anything to go by, Maverick Sabre being one of them, you’re sure to be hearing more from these two.

The Ex-Brighton Institute of Modern Music student says of his success “I’m thrilled and honoured to win the Brits critics’ choice award. I genuinely can’t believe it”, and modestly goes on to state “Looking at the list of amazing female artists who have won the award already, I just hope I don’t let the boys down.” Having already toured with the likes of Jake Bugg and Mystery Jets, along with the monumental success Odell has achieved before even releasing a full album, I think it’s safe to say there is no chance of him letting anyone down on that front in 2013. 


Photo credits: http://www.reverbnation.com/tomodell; http://www.drunkenwerewolf.com/2012/10/24/tom-odell-another-love-ep/http://www.brits.co.uk/news/2013/spotlight-on-tom-odell

Laura is a third year English Literature student at the University of Exeter. Laura has been a member of Her Campus since 2012, when she decided it was time to actually get involved in something CV worthy. Since joining HCX Laura has been heavily involved with the Culture team writing on everything from film reviews to blogging about what to do on your day off. Having never been involved in journalism before Laura has been pleasantly surprised by how much she has enjoyed her time at HCX. This year Laura is lucky enough to be the editor of Local Culture, and is relishing the excuse to explore Exeter in search of article ideas instead of tackling her extensive reading list. When Laura isn't writing for Her Campus, or staring aimlessly at her laptop in the library hoping a first class essay will miraculously appear, she loves to socialise with friends and explore the area surrounding Exeter (especially if it involves a beach).This summer Laura will be interning at OK! Magazine in their online department, as well as gaining work experience in the press office at Arsenal Football Club. Laura will also be relaxing with friends and family and booking as many holidays as possible. After University Laura wants to pursue a career in public relations in the travel and lifestyle industries. She intends to put off becoming an adult for at least another year by embarking on the classic 'gap year' experience and travelling the world- all in the aid of her future career of course...
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