I have found a most beautiful song. It’s by a singer songwriter called Tom Hickox. The song is called The Pretty Pride of Russia, and you can hear the song and watch a most affecting and sweet (and at the same time dark, cynical and slightly strange!) video that goes with it perfectly at the bottom of this page.
Tom is a singer songwriter. I don’t know much about him, but I think that’ll soon change. This is a great song. You heard it here first…
I don’t like to compare singer songwriters to buses as a rule. You can offend people when you compare them to buses. Women especially prefer more romantic comparisons: summer days and the like. Very unflattering to be said to resemble something most of London have been in at one time or another – if you’ll forgive the expression. However, it is fair to say that I have waited for quite some time to stumble across a good singer / songwriter. Not that I have been searching especially hard. I mean, once the rather bland tones of James Blunt put you off your tea and scones, you don’t start hunting around for other proponents of the genre do you? However, with Tom McRae, Jake Bugg and Tom Hickox three excellent and very different singer songwriters appear to have come all at once. You know, like buses…
Not that Tom McRae will agree that he has appeared out of thin air, mind you. He has been around the longest of the three, and is carving out a decent career for himself, having released seven albums since his first self-titled record was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize in 2000. Seeing him support Sweet Billy Pilgrim a couple of months back was a rare treat and his 2012 album From The Lowlands is excellent.
Jake Bugg has had incredible success at a young age with his debut album deservedly reaching the number one slot last month. Compared by some to Dylan, Bugg has some decent tunes and a nice way with words – but it’s difficult to see Dylan coming up with the line “Skin up a fat one / Hide from the Feds”… Suffice to say that parts of the record have a Dylan style swing to them, but perhaps Bugg is more similar to other artists such as The La’s or singers such as Alex Turner. Ultimately Bugg (who is only 18) has his own style. All good fun and the album is great.
But best of all is Tom Hickox – as I said, a new name to me, despite having played Glastonbury and SXSW (I shouldn’t be too surprised – I’ve never exactly been at the vanguard of new music). None other than Richard Hawley will be playing on his forthcoming album which was reason enough for me to check him out. He is releasing a series of videos to accompany the album and this is The Pretty Pride of Russia.
He has a rich voice and a style more similar to Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen. This song even has a hint of Morrissey… Very lyrical and distinctive – and one of the songs of the year, if you go in for that sort of thing. Do check him out.
Song #119 – Tom Hickox – The Pretty Pride of Russia