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WIRE BOAT

Tom Williams

What Did You Want To Be?

    Having taken a break from the music industry to teach in 2015, Tom was offered a week-long artist residency in the music department of Leeds Beckett University, and on the condition the university provided him with a band, Tom accepted the post and entered into one of the most creatively inspiring periods of his career, and resulted in the critically acclaimed album ‘All Change’. The new album ‘What Did You Want to Be?’ was recorded in January 2018 in East Sussex at Tim Rice-Oxley’s (Keane) home studio. Written under a year since ‘All Change’ came out, the album came from a series of intense, ‘20 song days’ that Rice-Oxley encouraged Tom to throw himself into.

    After releasing ‘Easy Fantastic’, his acclaimed third LP with The Boat on Moshi Moshi Records last year, Tom Williams jumped ship to explore a stripped back solo venture that focuses entirely on the charming intensity of his lyrical songwriting and the minimal arrangements provided by a close circle of friends. The “New House” mini-album follows “New Guitar” (released in March this year) and both feature seven new songs each, all written over the past two years and put to tape at 2kHz Studios in Crouch End, London with Ian Grimble (The Fall, Manic Street Preachers, Siouxie And The Banshees). The collection of songs give an intimate insight into Tom’s transition from band to solo artist, his relocation from Tunbridge Wells to St Leonards and eventually settling in the new house which became the central point to the stories tying all these songs together. Playing with Tom on many of the tracks and also on stage is Ant Vicary from The Boat as well as Sarah Maycock, Fiona Keeler and Catherine Black on piano, vocals and cello respectively. 



    After releasing Tom Williams and The Boat’s acclaimed 3rd LP ‘Easy Fantastic’ on Moshi Moshi Records, Tom is jumping ship to explore a stripped back venture called ‘New Guitar’, one that focuses entirely on the charming intensity of his lyrical songwriting and the minimal arrangements provided by a close circle of friends.

    The first single ‘New Guitar’ is revealed here in the form of a live performance at Replay Acoustics, the place where Tom found the Guitar that “all kinds of new songs fell out” of. The first song that did, is about moving down to the sea and serves as a perfect introduction to the project. The mini-album features more songs written over the past two years and studio versions (available upon release) were put to tape at 2kHz Studios in Crouch End, London with Ian Grimble (The Fall, Manic Street Preachers, Siouxie And The Banshees). Footage from these sessions was captured to create The Making-of “New Guitar” Mini Album Documentary directed by Jake Cunningham, giving a insight into Tom’s transition from band to solo artist, his relocation from Tunbridge Wells to St Leonards and the pivotal instrument that ties all these songs together.

    This release see’s Tom accompanied by Ant Vicary from The Boat as well as Sarah Maycock, Fiona Keeler and Catherine Black on piano, vocals and cello respectively. It is released on Tom’s own Wire Boat Recordings label.

    After five years as a band, encompassing five EPs and two albums, Kent-based six-piece Tom Williams & the Boat might appear fully-formed but, with the release of their second album, ‘Teenage Blood’, they’re only just beginning to reveal their true colours.

    ‘Teenage Blood’ is made up of ten tracks that Tom says reflect a new sense of focus for the band. After becoming obsessed with the idols of pop-rock’s history, such as Tom Petty, Teenage Fanclub, The Band and Loaded-era Velvet Underground, Tom decided to write songs that take the traditional song structures of that genre – repeated choruses, catchy hooks – and fill them with a subversive lyricism, touched upon in the debut release.

    The result is a tight, narrative set of tracks that don’t so much form a concept as a series showing the progression of doomed love affairs – moving from youthful naïveté in ‘Too Young’ into ‘There’s A Stranger’s gut-punch realisation of the death of a romance (‘the best song I’ve ever written’, says Tom) and finally the ‘rolling credits’ of ‘Emily’, a depiction of the (re)birth of a new relationship. Teenage Blood’s consistent focus and narrative drive make for a more cohesive album than Too Slow; a mixture of the black and white polarity of their debut that explores new, captivating shades of grey - the spaces in between pop and alternative music, love and hate.


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