Oddur Mar Runarsson has the energy and edge of an old-school rock front man with the quiet sensibility and heart of a poet. His musical skills are undoubted and his songwriting is unaffected and honest with a depth and sense of irony that is often missed in the musings of many contemporary singer-songwriters.
After leaving Iceland at 17 Oddur found himself in England where, after a few years and several twists and turns in the road, he connected with producer Andy Barlow and singer-songwriter Lou Rhodes: better known as the electronic music duo Lamb. Barlow and Rhodes were at the core of the band however it subsequently expanded to include Oddur on guitar, bassist Jon Thorne and Danish drummer Nikolaj Bjerre. Oddur toured as the guitartist with Lamb for 4 years before his first solo EP ‘Early Daze’ was released on Infinate Bloom Records.
Although perhaps publicly best known for his contribution to the story of Lamb, Oddur’s talents are not only appreciated by his fans but are most definitely recognized and respected amongst the music establishment. Over the years he has worked doing guitar sessions and backing vocals with many key figures in the British music scene including artists such as club legend Adam Freeland, cult festival band ‘The Egg’, Dub-Maestro and musical maverick Gaudi and with Lou Rhodes on her solo projects.
Oddur’s latest album ‘Our Place In This?’ is a gutsy yet elegantly conceived work Musically unpretentious and well crafted songs (not so common these days) give a nod to the greats in the tradition of folk/rock but a steely edge and dark undercurrent hint at influences of metal and grunge… It is a mature and in parts deeply personal album yet it’s scope is broad as are its contents In it are anthems to sing along to and sentiments to weep for… catchy tunes with cutting lyrics and sweetly haunting melodies with which to swallow bitter pills… all delivered with heart and the wry smile of experience. Oddur’s guitar playing conveys a full spectrum of sentiment within the album at times lyrical and singing, at times howling and raw but all the while supportive of an engaging and emotive yet ‘soft spoken’ vocal style.
Wealth of experience makes for interesting music but it is the presentation of that experience that makes for compelling song-writing. Being on the road for years is like fast-forwarding the life-experience-o-meter For Oddur years on tour and his existence in the interim periods as an ‘urban nomad’ have meant that he has certainly racked up some miles on his clock. His candid honesty about those experiences and the unpretentious way in which his music carries his lyrical thoughts brings alive his experience for the listener in the way that only a skilled raconteur does.