This year Indie-Folk favourite Tom Williams celebrates 10 years since the release of his debut album ‘Too Slow’ which he released on Moshi Moshi back in 2011. Cut to now and he’s released not only his most sonically adventurous LP but a knockout collection of songs perfect for these fractured times.
Hunkered down on the South Coast and inspired by the events of the last few years, Tom has come out swinging. By harnessing the energy and spirit of a debut project, the Hastings singer/songwriter new album provides biting snapshots of modern Britain. The album ‘Follow The Leader’ is out now on his own Wire Boat Recordings label.
It seems like the onset of the pandemic had a huge influence on the album in many ways. Initially finished in March 2020, but sensing a significant societal change once lockdown kicked in, Tom was forced to reconsider the album he thought he had finished. Isolation brought a flurry of new inspirations, production ideas, arrangement tweaks and a fresh energy to the project.
Musically and lyrically wanting to rip things up and start again, with the help of Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley, the pair made a concerted effort to push the production in powerful new sonic directions. The album’s title track is an angry swipe at the elders in power that swore they knew best. It’s instrumentation on the track signifies a change in approach as he embraces a more experimental production approach. The album boasts rich orchestral sounds and full band performances, mixed with claustrophobic drum machines, synthesizers, walls of heavy guitars and deep sub basses.
Songs like ‘Petrol Station’ and D’Ya Understand’ are brilliantly crafted critiques on modern life and those in power, whilst other tracks from the album explores feelings of anger, confusion and resentment from those left in the wake of societal change over the last couple of years. Another highlight is the nostalgic heartbreaker final track ‘Hard Year’ which sees Williams in pure magical mode. Tom explains this new-found experimental approach:
<blockquote>“I wanted the album to be angry, scary, ambitious and wounded. I wanted the quieter moments to be quieter and more intimate than ever before and the loudest moments to be the loudest to date. Most importantly I didn’t want any of these songs to feel like they could have been on previous albums.”
“I love a lot of different genres of music and a lot of them have never made their way into my own music. I found myself creatively hemmed in by the precedent of a decade of my own output. It took me a while to realise I didn’t need to add to it, I needed to start again.”</blockquote>
Known for his melodically rich, classic songwriting, the troubadour’s music has been described by The Guardian as “surging, vintage pop-rock” and has been championed extensively by Jo Whiley at BBC Radio 2, Steve Lamacq and Lauren Laverne at BBC 6 Music, Huw Stephens at Radio 1. Having now released seven studio albums, Tom Williams has built a passionate fanbase of discerning music lovers since his first album, Tom Williams & The Boat’s ‘Too Slow’ ten years ago. His 2017 album ‘All Change’ was voted by BBC 6 Music Recommends as one of their Top Ten Albums Of The Year, and his last album 2019’s ‘What Did You Want To Be?’ which was produced by Tim Rice-Oxley gained radio support from BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 2 and Radio X.
‘Follow The Leader’ is out now – visit <a href=”http://www.tomwilliamsmusic.net”>www.tomwilliamsmusic.net</a> to purchase vinyl. Check it out below and follow @tomwilliamsmusic