Tom Misch - Geography

by Paridhhi Bajoria

British Alternative/Indie artist Tom Misch is already known for his unique sound and his musical ability, through the beauteously made Beat Tape 1 and 2, as well as singles like Wander With Me and Watch Me Dance. However, his  debut album Geography has a completely outstanding and distinct touch to it. If listened to in order, the album narrates a story, about the various places the 22-year-old has travelled and the various chapters of his past experiences. The album mainly consists of up-tempo, relaxing sounds, accompanied by the very prominent use of electric and bass guitars. You will surely want to tap your feet to most of the songs on the album!

The very first song Before Paris explains why he chose music and how it is something he will never stop doing regardless of whether he gets the cheque or not -“It’s your morning coffee, it’s your food.” He compares music to food to signify the importance of it in his life which is most particularly personal yet beautifully portrayed through an expressive monologue, followed by a soothing guitar solo. Next on the album, Lost In Paris featuring GoldLink has a very fusion sound as it entails an upbeat sound along with a jazzy saxophone vibe, with a blend of hip-hop given by GoldLink. “All the things I used to say, you kept it safe”. Tom explained his inspiration for this song in a tweet that read, “Lost In Paris is about my hard-drive that I lost in Paris that had a lot of new music on.” This expalins that Tom definitely knows how to musicalise his experiences, making him a very phenomenal artist.

To add to the little overall Hip-Hop vibe in Geography, his much-appreciated collaborations with Loyle Carner on singles Crazy Dream and Nightgowns continue in this album with Water Baby which gives a lot of life advice.  It Runs Through Me featuring De La Soul also evokes a similar musical pattern as Lost In Paris and Water Baby. Disco Yes featuring Poppy Ajudha and South Of The River are other masterpieces on the album that have dominating electric and bass guitar sounds and particularly made me want to get on my feet and dance. These songs have a very catchy and groovy edge to them. Tick Tock is an instrumental piece that again, is upbeat and progressive and surely makes you want to shake your head to the beat. Tom’s instrumental rendition of the Stevie Wonder classic Isn’t She Lovely is by far one of the best versions I have heard of the song. This isn’t the first time we are listening to his instrumental pieces, though: the single Memory and Home from Beat Tape 2 are prime examples of similar brilliance.

Creating a contrasting yet a very beautiful atmosphere in the course of the album, a few songs really stood out. Tom’s alluring rendition of Man Like You by Patrick Watson makes me want to gaze at the stars next to a bonfire with the song playing in the background. You’re On My Mind, another standout, is a little more mellow and acoustic in nature than the other songs on the album, creating a very different but inviting sense of a love song. Movie is another work of art that reminds me of musical theatre - it has a dramatic monologue in the very beginning followed by a very exquisite piano solo through to the end.

Geography as an album doesn’t just make me want to go on a vacation or a getaway, but also clearly expresses the essence of Tom Misch as a musician and a human being. Even though every song made by him is individualistic in its own amazing way, one can still see the characterisation and identity of his music throughout. It is shocking to see that how such a young artist has the ability to create such top quality and extraordinarily unfamiliar sounds - his music surely deserves way more appreciation than it already gets.