Tom Odell embarks on an independent new era with new single & video ‘Best Day Of My Life’.

Tom Odell has released his stunning new single ‘Best Day Of My Life’ via independent label Mtheory/UROK. The single is accompanied by an equally beautiful official music video, created by director Manshen Lo (Sally Rooney), animated by Duncan Gist and produced by Nexus Studios.

Having fulfilled his major label record deal in 2021, Tom began to look ahead to a new era, a new way of working, and embarked on an independent new chapter of his acclaimed career that sees him reclaiming control and taking back the reins of his artistry.

‘Best Day Of My Life’ marks the first single of that new chapter. Perhaps one of the most poignant songs he’s ever written, the single tackles the emotional peaks and troughs of being alive and experiencing moments of euphoria following bouts of sadness. His newfound sense of freedom and clarity is palpable in the lyrics as Tom sings, “I think today is the best day of my life / F**k thinking about the future all the time / If I’m alone, if I’m alone then I don’t mind.”

Tom says:

“I feel so free, so liberated to be an independent artist. 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.”

Discussing the single, he says:

“I guess the idea behind this song was from my experience of sadness. After you’ve been through a really hard time, there are these incredible peaks of euphoria, these moments of almost uncontrollable joy, which you’re almost suspicious of.”

Download/stream ‘Best Day Of My Life’

The accompanying official music video is a hypnotic animation of a person cycling and is as beautiful and understated as the song itself. It was created by director Manshen Lo and produced by Nexus Studios. Perhaps best known for designing the cover of Sally Rooney’s latest novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You, Lo’s approach to drawing has its roots in East Asia, whilst taking influence from sequential art and the ligne-claire style.

Watch the official music video

The single’s release follows an overwhelming response to Tom teasing the track to his ever-growing and dedicated legion of fans on social media, where he regularly tears down the artist-fan barrier to interact with his audience, host Zoom events, and TikTok duets where his single Another Love became a viral phenomenon years after its release.

The single also received a rapturous response during the UK leg of Tom’s world tour last month. The mammoth tour kicked off in February with 15 shows across the UK including a sold out show at London’s O2 Academy Brixton. Alongside a colossal number of headline shows across the world, Tom is also due to appear at festivals in the summer including A Day In The Park and Towersey Festival this Summer. Tickets for all shows can be found here.

 

About Tom Odell

Background

Singer, songwriter and musician, Tom Odell was propelled straight to the forefront of the mainstream when his debut EP, Songs From Another Love, was released in 2012, catching mass attention and leading him to win a BRITs Critics’ Choice Award in 2013 and a place in BBC’s coveted Sound Of list. Later that year, his platinum-selling debut album Long Way Down was released to critical acclaim and went straight to #1 on the UK Albums Chart. Rightfully praised for his songwriting prowess, in 2014 Tom won the prestigious title of Songwriter Of The Year at the Ivor Novello Awards before his stunning cover of The Beatles’ ‘Real Love’ accompanied the highly anticipated and long-cherished John Lewis Christmas advert. Tom went on to release his second studio album, Wrong Crowd in 2016, which charted at #2 and is BPI certified Gold, and his third studio album, Jubilee Road, was released in 2018.

Tom’s dedicated work ethic became an obsession that culminated in crippling anxiety, leading to a dark period of mental health that Tom wrote his way through. These broader lyrical horizons needed to be matched by a musical expansion, coming in the form of his genre-bending 2021 fourth studio album, Monsters, the final album to fulfil his major label record deal with Columbia Records. The album’s DIY and electronic sound was crafted in a threadbare way using instruments he had to hand during the height of the pandemic like Moog synths – a move underpinned by both necessity and a desire to explore. Now an independent artist, free from the constraints of a major label, Tom Odell has stripped things back.

Armed with a newfound sense of freedom and creative control, this new era of Tom’s career sees him take focus off hooks and strategy and instead create an environment where his audience can sit with the music and breathe. The result is a work of minimalist beauty, comprising just Tom’s voice, a piano and the occasional creak of a stool.

Biography

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. Even last year’s excoriating, beat-driven album Monsters – on which he pushed boundaries, experimented with new sounds, and opened up about his struggles with crippling anxiety – was dismissed by some as an attempt to stay relevant. “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…”

So he decided to stop trying to please anyone. 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. He read a quote from the super-producer Rick Rubin, about the importance of applying rules to yourself, and decided to give it a go. “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. On ‘The Blood We Bleed’, a melancholic lullaby that hisses and crackles, he muses: “You treat me tough/ We call it love/ But it’s your blood I’m gonna bleed.” “It’s about relationships with fathers, but also how generations communicate with each other,” explains Odell. “Do you bury the past or do you talk about it? Each of us carry our own personal version of that: how do we forgive and also love at the same time?” He almost didn’t put it on the album. “It does hurt me to listen to that song,” he admits – but he decided not to stand in the way of emotional truth.

‘Just Another Thing We Don’t Talk About’, meanwhile, is about his inherited tendency to suppress his own feelings. “This could be time we work things out/ Say some things that we should say out loud,” he sings over plaintive piano, his own voice layered on top of itself before drifting into harmony. “But if there’s anything that I’ve learnt by now/ It’ll be just another thing that we don’t talk about.” “It’s about the silence, and just burying things,” says Odell. “Even though my job is a singer-songwriter, I still manage to bury loads of stuff.”

The title track is perhaps the most poignant song on the album. “I think today is the best day of my life/ Fuck thinking ‘bout the future all the time,” he sings, his voice echoing and distorting as if you’re hearing it in a dream. “I guess the idea behind that was from my experience of sadness. After you’ve been through a really hard time, there are these incredible peaks of euphoria, these moments of almost uncontrollable joy, which you’re almost suspicious of.”

The video, a hypnotic animation of a woman cycling, is as beautiful and understated as the song itself. It was created by the Chinese line-drawing artist Manshen Lo – perhaps best known for designing the cover of Sally Rooney’s latest novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You. Lo has made all the album’s videos. “She’s unbelievable,” says Odell. “She’s a wonderful artist and director. I feel very inspired by her work actually. It’s the first time I’ve worked with illustration or animation.” He gave Lo “total freedom” to do what felt right with his songs. “I’ve definitely suffered from slight control freak vibes in the past,” he says with a laugh. “It’s been so nice to just relinquish control. I really trust her.”

On ‘Enemy’, Odell tackles his struggles with anxiety. “I lay in bed at night/ Watch you as you try to break my mind,” he sings. As with other songs on the album, he added a flicker of autotune to the vocals – not to perfect them, but to make things that little bit less comfortable. “It just made it a little bit colder, bluer,” he says of the effect. “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.”

As for the lyrics of that song – he is directly addressing his own brain: “It’s when that thing you used to feel was strong and reliable turns on you,” he explains. “It was just like: ‘You used to be my fucking pal. What happened, man? Where did you go? Why do you turn every thought into something negative?’” He’s learnt, though, not to fight his own brain. “So much of overcoming anything like that is accepting that you probably aren’t ever gonna overcome it,” he says. “That’s how I ended up stopping having to take beta blockers round with me, or Valium, and ended up happy again, was by stopping beating myself up and accepting who I am. Accepting even the really ugly bits of us is hard to do sometimes.”

That attitude is where the album ends up, with the tender, heartfelt “Smiling All The Way Back Home”. “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.” And so he should.

EVENT INFORMATION

Booking information

Please note that Booking Fees apply on the following transactions:
Online: £1.50 per ticket + £1.50 postage or free collection at the Box Office.
Print at home tickets: These can be emailed to you on the account you have registered with DLWP free of charge (booking fees apply)
Telephone: £3.50 per transaction + £1.50 postage or free collection at the Box Office
There will be a cheaper booking fee for events under £10 (booking fee = £1.00) and under £5 (booking fee = 50p).
Free events booked online are not subject to a booking fee.
There is no booking fee for tickets purchased over the counter.

Please note that we are only able to post tickets within the UK. If you live overseas please select box office collection or print at home tickets. Tickets purchased for post will be sent 10 – 14 days before the show date.

All tickets include a Restoration Levy of £1 and will be subject to an additional £1.50 booking fee per ticket. Postage of tickets adds an additional £1.50 postage charge. Other options include having your tickets emailed to the email registered to your DLWP account to print from home or free collection at the Box Office.

The following are exempt from the Restoration Levy: Learning & Participation events, events associated with exhibitions, family shows that include a child ticket price, OUTLANDS events and Music’s Not Dead events in our Café Bar. Also exempt are those organisations that hire the Pavilion where they are offered a community rate, amateur shows or are in receipt of a concession from Rother District Council.

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Eat before the show

Book online: Pre-show dining can be booked online as an add-on when purchasing tickets for selected events. You will be purchasing a ticket to guarantee your meal before the show.
Please note you must be a ticket holder to the show to book pre-show dining.

Already booked your tickets? If you’ve already booked tickets for a show and would like to add dining, please contact Box Office: boxoffice@dlwp.com

On the night: If you have pre-booked please come to the bar to order from the gig menu and sit at one of the reserved tables.

No re-entry

Please be aware that we operate no re-entry for gigs. This means that once you have entered the building, you cannot go out and re-enter. This policy is in line with other major music venues across the UK and put in place on police advice. No re-entry is clearly signposted as you come through security on the front door.
There is a fenced-off area on the terrace for people who go out to smoke or vape.

Staying locally

There are plenty of welcoming and good value B&Bs & boutique hotels in Bexhill. The De La Warr Pavilion regularly uses the following:

Travel information
  • By Rail
    Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
    There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
    Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
  • Taxis
    Town Taxis:  01424 211 511
    Parkhurst Taxis:  01424 733 456
  • By Car
    If driving from the London area:
    Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
    OR
    Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
    From the Brighton area:
    Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
  • Parking
    Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free.
Accessibility

Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.

Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.

Please contact the Box Office on boxoffice@dlwp.com to arrange a visit.

Facilities for disabled visitors

  • Ramped access at the front of the building
  • A low counter at the Box Office and  Information Desk
  • Disabled toilets on two floors
  • A lift to all floors
  • Accessible galleries on both floors
  • An accessible Café
  • Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
  • Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
  • Ramped access into the Studio
  • Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.

Facilities for blind or visually-impaired

  • Large print season brochures

Facilities for the hard-of-hearing

  • An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
  • British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.