A couple of cursory listens to ‘Another Love’, the next single to be taken from ‘Long Way Down’, will have you humming it for the rest of the day. It is just one catchy track, however, from an album of earworm pop songs with profound undertones. Elton John tinkles are teamed with Jeff Buckley angst and Arcade Fire soaring choruses to create a break-up album that bypasses the brain and beelines straight for your heart. Listening to the rousing piano of ‘Hold Me’ you can already the picture main stage festival sing-alongs and ‘big moment’ reality TV decisions. ‘Grow Old With Me’ is chock-full of endearingly clichéd lines about pulling sheets over cold feet, and evokes youthful innocence rather than major label tinkering. A few mid-album lulls expose Odell’s inexperience, but overall this is a debut that should keep him on the bus to stardom for many more stops to come. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.
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In case you didn’t know, Scandinavia is cool right now. The food, the fashion, the facial hair – plus the Vikings have invaded the British Museum. All we need next is a healthy economy, a reliable public transport system and a sense of social justice, and London will be indistinguishable from Oslo. Meanwhile in Hackney, there’s yet another Northern European-inspired incursion. Or apparently so: the website claims this bar-restaurant-club draws on ‘a Nordic aesthetic’, although it’s not immediately obvious within. Oslo occupies the previously deserted old Hackney rail station and takes on a bit of a railway theme with its luggage-rack lighting, plus there are industrial stylings that give the whole place a Janet Jackson ‘Rhythm Nation’ video feel. The restaurant part is rather fancy, its food incorporating a few of the forages, pickles, jellies and marinations of New Nordic cooking. The kitchen is regularly given over to guest chefs, and you have to book – it’s always heaving. Eat in the bar and the food is more straightforward. Where once the standard snack in pubs was a toastie, sausage roll or pork pie, now it’s the slider or fried chicken. These are served alongside frankly obscene portions of chips, slathered with the likes of cured bacon fat and bacon salt, or braised oxtail, gravy and cheese. There’s a commendable range of craft beers from the vicinity, including a couple from Five Points Brewing just five minutes up the road at the Downs.Head upstairs and you’ll find a
Venue says: “Join us every Thursday night until late for Soul Soul Soul – a night of vinyl appreciation with DJs playing soul, funk, disco and more.”