My Crooked Teeth is the new project of Oxford-based singer-songwriter Jack Olchawski, whom you might remember as fronting the alt-country band Toliesel. Olchawski, who has been involved in a wildly eclectic set of projects in the last decade, is now emerging and becoming recognised as a songwriting talent in his own right. This new single is a departure from his debut EP, and the first to see him backed by a full band.
‘Better Off’ has a classic tone to it, an organic quality in both the songwriting and the arrangement that makes the track sound ageless yet current and original. An organ starts off the song and complements Olchawski’s passionate vocals. It establishes a tone of peaceful introspection that gives space to a complicated subject to sing about: the final days of a relationship. Such ends, as we all know, are usually followed by an array of emotions such as grief, guilt, growth, liberation, and joy, and such myriad of feelings isn’t easy to come to terms with. However, Olchawski has managed to put them all together in a simple yet effective way; even though the melancholy is discernible, especially at the beginning, the track’s major emotion is positive. The song slowly ascends into a bristling climax that recognises the influences of American folk acts such as Ryan Adams and Cass McCombs, showing how much Olchawski has internalised this style and is now making it his.
The artwork attached to ‘Better Off’ shows a Mediterranean-style rural house, hinting at some kind of solitary retreat somewhere in the world, where you are, most definitely, better off. We are expecting more from My Crooked Teeth in the coming months. For now, stream ‘Better Off’ below.
‘Better Off’ can be purchased via Bandcamp now.