I didn’t think Elton John and I had too much in common beyond both of us enjoying sticking things in our mouth a little too much (food! your smutty minds!) and a tendency for a splash of colour in our clothing. It transpires though, together with increasing numbers of others, we also share a solid admiration for the music of 18 year old Tom A Smith.
As 2022 has progressed, Tom A Smith has worked so hard getting his music heard, gaining hard gig experience along the way. There’s nothing to match honing your skills in front of a critical audience and Tom is doing it the right way. Admire this dude.
This year has seen Tom play both as support in 200 max venues, to playing support for the likes of Elton on the biggest stages imaginable. Tom A Smith has spoken in the past about his HLHS heart condition, so I can only imagine how living the life of a teen travelling minstrel can only be the sweeter. Amazing man, and it’s clear he is loving and savoring every damn second of every sweet experience coming his way.
Now it’s time for Tom’s magnificent second EP, the imaginatively entitled EP2. We have very fortunately already heard the first two tracks Could I Live With Being Fake and Never Good Enough as they have been released a while since. Both tracks are striking for the way the lyrics cut through the crap of life. The titles of the songs in a way says it.
I adore the grungy but strident approach of Could I Live With Being Fake – it’s a song that comes up to you and flashes in your face. It’s also a great introduction for Tom’s strong insistent vocal; once you hear Tom’s voice, you will know it ever more.
Tom describes Never Good Enough as one of his favourite songs so far, and I understand why he would think that. I just adore that catchy hook line, sweet sax and a lyric in Never Good Enough that we all relate to. Haha for the past 4 weeks I’ve been trying to look after my beloved, do all the housework, keep my busy full time job going, do some extra attention and care, watering the 120 f’king pots she thought it was a good idea to plant, while she recovers from a broken leg, I think Never Good Enough has been my theme tune of the summer, although it’s all in my head; my beloved has the grace to be such a lovely gentle non complaining patient. My clients less so haha.
The strong thing that comes from Tom A Smith’s EP2 is the sheer diversity in the sound. I think Tom could pick up a paper on quantum physics, set it to music and make it interesting and alive.
Man Overboard has a nice forward thrusting beat, and a very retro sounding 80’s chorus. To my ears it’s kind of Tom A Smith sounding a bit like A-ha. It’s that 1980’s jingle. It’s another very listenable song and just shows how this guy can turn his hand to anything. Tom says he wrote the track early in lockdown, like most of us, lost in the stasis of the break in our normal routine; in Tom’s case, not being able to gig.
Tom describes next track Toronto as a track to keep Happy Mondays fans happy, and its very true there’s that baggy, bouncing beat going on through the tune. It’s got a solid hard rocking edge to it as well, so once again Tom channels his inner Hendrix. Baggy Hendrix, yeah dear reader it just works.
If I Was is the demo track that Tom has added to each EP (OK it’s not a habit with just 2 EP’s but I hope it becomes one). Tom told me he has over 300 songs in various forms on his private Soundcloud account and it does seem a crime not to share some of them. The raw in these demos really just show how Tom is the complete deal – it’s not a studio exec putting on bells and whistles to make it work. If I Was has a sweet country bent, and has a sweet vibe about wanting to do anything for a love and being inspired by that love to be excellent. Ironically Tom name checks Elton John in the lyrics (haha luckily in a good way).
Tom is still on a ready to gig anywhere to get his music out there, so no doubt he will be on a stage near you. Tom and his band are a rare force of nature live, so get on it – you really won’t be disappointed.