I came across Tom’s music with his most recent album Fenn and his mix of conversational lyrics, cute indie-folk melodies and some really fabulous creative streaks has made me gobble up his back catalogue. Last month he released the EP “Don’t Die Curious” and the theme for the EP revolves around placing string arrangements into the six tracks.
Opening up the upbeat, uptempo and rapturous title track, we have happy guitars, trumpet fanfares, sympathetic strings and Tom’s voice flipping between octaves as verse and chorus interchange. It’s a rowdy pub-like folk song that celebrates life’s oddities and to continue on regardless. It’s a perfect opener and intro to his music if you’re new. On the flipside “Got Gold” is a quieter applause to someone he can’t have and wishing them the best anyway. The piano flutters and the strings wrap around the voice beautifully. Tom can do ballads with the best of them too and his husky voice can melt your heart as it does with the impassioned “Cos Love (If You Miss It)” which tells you to get out and give life another go. It’s certainly the theme throughout all the tracks and its a track that could have been a big band explosion but is kept restrained instrumentally and the vocals are firmly center to get the message home. “Hugging You” is perfectly cute as big kick drums bellow below flowing chord flourishes. The quiet track of reflection and storytelling is “Was It You Who I Saw?” tells of a women moves away to stand on her own two feet before “Gone Gone” ends with the happiest death declaration question “Can I rest with you when I’m gone?”
The EP itself is more symphonic than previous work of Tom’s and reminds me very much of earlier Kishi Bashi albums. If indie folk-pop is your bag – you’d be mad to miss this.
Recommended track: Don’t Die Curious