Self-described as "cowboy soul, future folk", NYC/DC artist Odetta Hartman’s sound is both traditional and modern; that modernity often featuring through the spacey and fragmented production of her partner Jack Inslee. Hartman’s 2015 debut album 222 landed her firmly on the folk scene, defying expectations and playing with the confines of the genre: Uncut Magazine wrote that “few artists combine the concepts of arcane and contemporary as atmospherically as New York’s Odetta Hartman.”
Hartman explains that 222 was a “totally independent project […] I didn’t need everything and the kitchen sink to make a recording powerful. It was definitely an introverted process.” The 2018 follow-up album, Old Rockhounds Never Die, demonstrates this power: whether in the instruments she plays, or the sampling of her own voice to create synths, Hartman soars and astounds. Through experimenting with found sounds and Foley, Hartman and Inslee have developed a sonic vernacular built around playing with a-typical instruments. Hartman explains that "many of the beats on the album were recorded in the kitchen: the snare sound is actually a running faucet, or if you hear these glockenspiel bells that’s actually a set of kitchen bowls. Other percussive elements include scissors, a pepper grinder and keys on the radiator."
Odetta Hartman plays The Islington in London on 24 September. Old Rockhounds Never Die is out now on Northern Spy Records.