It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Odetta Hartman’s voice first entered my mind, but here we are. I was alerted to her talent by friend of the site Oliver Ignatius when she recorded at his studio for her Bark EP. That record featured the single “End Of The World,” which I can still listen to a hundred times in a row and never tire of it. Since then she released a great full-length that highlighted her vocals and experimented with beats and rhythms. On Friday her new album Old Rockhounds Never Die will be available to anyone interested.
This collection of songs is a strange mix of ideas, some finished some not. It opens with a quick scratch take called “Old Rockhounds” that runs all of 40 seconds. Brevity is a common theme running through a lot of the music here. 12 of the 15 tracks come in under three minutes. That proves to be a good thing for songs like “Honey.” For some others, like “Misery,” it just leaves you wanting more.
I’m a big fan of the work Hartman does with producer/musical partner Jack Inslee. They never shy away from trying new things that get them outside of their comfort zone. The influences are all over the place, and it’s hard to peg down what they’re doing with our current musical lingo. On 222 they made a fairly consistent-sounding record that could be categorized if you wanted to do that. Old Rockhounds Never Die is so void of genre it sounds like nothing else around today.
It isn’t a perfect album by any means, but there’s enough going on that it’s worth checking out. Four of the songs are available to hear now, and they’re all enjoyable. You can go here to listen.
She’s heading out on the road in September with Let’s Eat Grandma and then a couple shows with Michael Nau. Click here for a full list of dates.