Hear The Track HereI've lost count of the number of people who have asked me why I do so much reviewing. Well, I'll tell you because Thomas J Marchant is one of the prime examples of why I do what I do. See, when he first started out we had several set-to's about what music is or isn't. At the time Thomas was an electronica: experimental artist with all the baggage that this entails. I caught glimpses of what he was after in his work with Black Zarak and The Men From San Diego but it wasn't until The Antennaheadz in general and Mr Panache (November 2007) that I finally caught sight of where he was going - it also earned him his first Must Have from me. The point I'm making is that without this continued and long exposure to this artist I probably could never have appreciated him as much as I do. Sure I would hear a musician and singer who knew what he was doing, but I wouldn't know what a struggle it was to get there. When they 'come good', the most awkward artists can be tremendously innovative.
Such is the case with Thomas J.
As well as a guitarist, singer and songwriter I have known Thomas to pick up his sax now and then to wail on it, so I know that he is deadly serious about his music too. Over the years, Thomas has turned into an old fashioned troubadour and with grand style too. I heartily recommend you check out his EP from Chameleon Dish Archive. Unemployment (there's a subject we are all knowledgeable about) is exactly what I expect from Thomas, lo-fi but incredibly clear and listenable, upbeat and breezy with some of the best lyrics he has come up with yet. Three minutes plus of a track so easy on the ears, you couldn't ignore it if you tried.
I believe one of the charms of this track (and indeed this artist) is that quintessential English sound. The acne laden vocal and the plodding piano that really shouldn't be that catchy, wedded to a pedestrian beat that definitely shouldn't work but comes out sounding full of life and twice as exhilarating. I'm sure there would/will be detractors to this view and I understand that I am a confirmed fan but nonetheless if I was looking for bright, breezy pop with an edge, Thomas J Marchant is who I would look for first. He was, after all, my Artist Of The Year 2008 and he shows no sign whatsoever of slacking off...
MUST HAVE pop oddity.