Hastings singer Tom Williams marks ten years with new album

Hastings born and based singer Tom Williams celebrates ten years with his new album Follow The Leader, released on July 30.

Tom Williams
Tom Williams

The album marks ten years since his debut album (previously signed to Moshi Moshi) and this time round Tom wanted to rip things up and start again, setting about making an album with the energy of a debut.

With the help of Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley, the pair made a concerted effort to push the production in powerful new sonic directions.

Tom describes the title track as an angry swipe at the elders in power that swore they knew best. Other tracks from the album explore feelings of anger, confusion and resentment from those left in the wake of social change over the last couple of years.

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    The album boasts rich orchestral sounds and full-band performances, mixed with drum machines, synthesizers, walls of heavy guitars and deep sub bass.

    The album was initially finished in March 2020, at which point the UK went into lockdown, at which point Tom was forced to reconsider the album he thought he had finished. Isolation brought a flurry of new inspirations, production ideas, arrangement tweaks and a fresh energy to the project.

    With the knowledge that the album would be released ten years after his debut, Tom wanted to rip things up and start again, setting about making an album with the energy of a debut, he says.

    “I wanted the album to be angry, scary, ambitious and wounded. I wanted the quieter moments to be quieter and more intimate than ever before and the loudest moments to be the loudest to date. Most importantly I didn’t want any of these songs to feel like they could have been on previous albums.

    “I love a lot of different genres of music and a lot of them have never made their way into my own music. I found myself creatively hemmed in by the precedent of a decade of my own output. It took me a while to realise I didn’t need to add to it. I needed to start again.”

    The album’s title track has been supported by Steve Lamacq and Chris Hawkins at BBC 6.

    Known for his melodically rich, classic songwriting, Tom’s music has been championed extensively by Jo Whiley at BBC Radio 2, Steve Lamacq and Lauren Laverne at BBC 6 Music, Huw Stephens at Radio 1, Q Magazine, NME, DIY, The Line Of Best Fit, Clash.

    Tom is also a teacher. He teaches guitar and songwriting to junior school children and three secondary schools across Sussex and Kent.

    He is an advocate of using music as a tool to aid wellbeing and mental health in young people and has been running weekly song-writing workshops online through the lockdowns.

    He has also given talks at music and arts festivals and was an artist in residence at Leeds Beckett University in 2016 where he recorded his 2017 album All Change with a band made up of students from the university, half of which still make up his current band.