…and not before time, frankly. Tom should really have been recording for a while now, but that’s a whole other story. Let’s just say that the fact that this is his debut release is not for the lack of trying to get something recorded & released before now.
I feel as though I’ve known Tom for half of my life, so it’s a bit of a shock to realise that it’s probably only been about 2 years. He’s a genial young man with a serious talent for writing and performing his own songs and does a pretty fair job of covering other people’s too.
‘Beauty from Ashes’ is a 5-track EP that offers some old songs and some that are new to me, including the breathtaking ‘Our Street’, which sees Tom’s lyric-writing and musical ambitions taking a step up to a new and impressive level. It’s a wonderful song and sits nicely alongside old favourites like ‘Bones’ and ‘Fear of Falling’ (with vocal harmonies from the also seriously talented Eddy Day-Clarke). Tom sings well, plays guitar and a bit of piano and has help from some sympathetic musicians – it’s a nice little ‘hors d’oeuvre’ that will hopefully take him on to the next phase of his career, once he’s decided what he wants that to be. I wouldn’t want to pigeonhole Tom by itemising what I think his influences are, so perhaps I should just say that I know he has a serious fondness for Bob Dylan, Iron & Wine, Nick Drake…and so on. Listening to ‘Beauty from Ashes’, it’s clear that he’s managed to absorb these and numerous other influences and yet produce something that is very much his own.
Tom is launching the EP next week with a gig in Bristol, where he & Eddy now live. I’ll be travelling down for that and will no doubt be writing about it here. When I do, I’ll try and post details of how you can get hold of a copy of ‘Beauty from Ashes’ – every home should have one! I should also mention that the whole thing is beautifully packaged and has excellent pen & ink drawings of the Stokes Croft area of Bristol where Tom now lives.