Hear The Track HereYet another Soundclick musician making out like a bandit in last years Tracks Of The Year ratings, will come as no surprise to regular readers. Indeed, Thomas has featured in my yearly roundups pretty much ever since I started reviewing on that site, albeit in a manner of different guises. Finally though, he settled on the Thomas J Marchant personna, changed his whole musical style and outlook and snagged my Artist Of The Year 2007 award, as well as a string of Must Haves from me and a LOT of dedicated fans. Mind you, it's hard not to like Thomas's uncomplicated it's-the-song-that-matters approach even if sometimes we don't see eye to eye on other things.
Late last year, just when he was getting into his production stride, Thomas suffered the fate many of us internet musicians dread most of all - computer and/or disk crash. Having suffered the latter myself, early in the year my heart went out to him. Thomas, in true troubadour fashion, threw off this little obstacle and bounced right back with a lean, stripped-down killer of a track with Ego (November 2010) which I contend just gets better with time. So, where we find ourselves is right around where Thomas started off technically, which means lo-fi lo-fi (if you know what I mean) who reminds me more and more when in this mode of the late, lamented Syd Barrett.
Now maybe it's that English whimsy that Thomas lays on with a trowel that gives me the impression, because Syd for sure made that his trademark. It's really difficult too pull off successfully though, either sounding too twee and cutesy or pretentious, but Thomas throws off that obstacle with ease too. The track is recorded very hot and whatever additional instrumentation/vocalising is presumably Thomas playing with himself (if you know what I mean) so be ready with that volume control although, to be fair, there is no distortion or clipping which says a lot. On balance, I think I prefer this raw, much rougher Thomas J Marchant the more the tracks roll out...
Highly Recommended Acoustic and - of course - a MUST HAVE for fans.