Sydney singer Odette finds poetry in pain

Sydney singer-songwriter Odette is about to release her debut album To A Stranger.
Sydney singer-songwriter Odette is about to release her debut album To A Stranger.

Sydney singer-songwriter Odette is about to make poetry very cool.

With a debut album named after a Walt Whitman poem, To A Stranger, the 21-year-old is unashamed in her passion for the written word.

"I've always really enjoyed writing poetry and I will always gravitate towards sharp, snappy vignettes," Odette told AAP.

"My best friend gave me a Walt Whitman book for Christmas and it changed everything. I read To a Stranger and I thought 'This really sums up everything I want to say in the album'. So I thought I'd love to honour that in the title."

It helps that this passion is accompanied by exquisitely written tracks that are creating a buzz around the Australian music scene.

Just last week, Odette appeared on triple J's Like A Version segment performing a song by Sydney band Gang Of Youths. The dramatic arrangement of the track Magnolia, which included a string section and Odette playing a grand piano, was declared better than the original by the band themselves.

There's no doubt Odette is extremely talented, but music has already helped her through the most difficult time in her life.

"The songs on the album are from when I was about 15-19. There was a lot going on with me personally. I met this terrible person and whenever you're in a situation romantically you don't want to acknowledged the bad stuff," she said.

"I was almost forced to acknowledge that I was in a really toxic situation. It was overwhelming and I came back from overseas and things got a lot worse before they became better, but I think writing songs has always been really cathartic for me and also a means of processing my experiences."

She is now, thankfully, out of that toxic relationship, thanks in part to her music.

"For me personally it's important to share my experiences. I need to be able to talk because a lot of the experiences I went through were so silencing ... so talking about it through my music and through this upcoming album, it's very empowering to me," she said.

" It's completely uncensored and as honest as I feel."

*To A Stranger is out on July 6

Australian Associated Press