Q&A: Odette on her unique songwriting style and the reaction to ‘Watch Me Read You’

Sydney singer-songwriter Odette may be a relative newcomer to the Australian music scene, but the 21-year-old is already making her mark with a striking blend of intricate compositions, stunning melodies and lyrical meditations on love and life.

The talented musician has even skipped the usual debut EP release and released her first full-length album To A Stranger, which she’s about to tour nationally.

Amid a hectic schedule, Odette took five to give us the lowdown on the album, the tour and the reaction to that very special debut single ‘Watch Me Read You’.

How long have you been singing/songwriting for?

I wrote my first song when I was around eight. I’ve been in love with it ever since!

Did you get into writing prose before music, or was it the other way around?

I did start writing before I got my first piano.

Tell us about the reaction to ‘Watch Me Read You’. How did it feel to have so many people identify with something that was so personal to you?

It was almost surreal. I had a few people reach out to me to tell me their personal experiences when they first heard the song and it was mind blowing. I think I’ll always be amazed by how music has the potential to connect with so many different people.

Your style blends simple musical arrangements with spoken word lyrics and melodic vocals. What can spoken word convey that singing can’t?

I think that spoken word allows me to cram as many words as possible into one song. I only write spoken word songs when I have experienced something intense or overwhelming or if I’m feeling a certain way. Really it’s the best way to communicate my emotions.

Does the rest of your debut album follow the same musical style, or can we expect some variation there?

Lots of variation. I find it difficult to write in one specific style because my style is always changing. I’m always finding new pop influences, new folk or contemporary influences, that ultimately keep my style changing all the time.

Going from singles straight to a full-length LP is a confident move. Did you consider putting out an EP?

I did at first, but I had written so much material it seemed a waste not to include everything on the first project.

Gang of Youths told their social media followers that your recent cover of ‘Magnolia’ was better than their original. How did that feel?

That was a bit mad. I definitely do not agree either but it’s very kind of them. I felt very overwhelmed but also incredibly happy that they loved my arrangement.

How are you feeling about the upcoming tour?

More than excited. My band and I have worked really hard on this live set. I can’t wait to show people what we’ve been up to.


All ticketing information at www.odettesodyssey.com

Friday 10 August                Ed Castle, Adelaide / Rocket Bar, Adelaide

Saturday 11 August           Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

Friday 17 August                Newport Hotel, Fremantle

Saturday 18 August           Amplifier, Perth

Friday 24 August                Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

Saturday 25 August           Transit Bar, Canberra

Friday 31 August                Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane

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