It’s day two of The Best Records of 2014, and this one is an album that is released today.
A long way removed from the blood and thunder of yesterday’s pick, Royal Blood, Tom Hickox is a singer/songwriter I have kept an eye on since I heard his single “Pretty Pride of Russia” waaaaay back in 2012, and it is good to see we now have an album, “War, Peace and Diplomacy”, released on indie label Fierce Panda. Hickox has a great voice, writes really interesting songs and has had the benefit of Richard Hawley’s backing band on the album (Hawley himself plays a lovely slide guitar on the delightful “Out of the Warzone”).
Listening to this album is like entering a world of characters from a play. There’s the naive young woman at the mercy of a cynical world in “Pretty Pride of Russia”, the autobiographical (or is it?) “Normal Boy”, the dark, slightly menacing lullaby “Your Baby Was Asleep” and all-out grandiose tour de force of “White Roses Red” that begins with sitar and Radiohead-esque piano (think Pyramid Song) and turns up the dramatics with fascinating effect. Every song paints a picture, and every record tells a story. Now, there’s a good name for a blog…
Hickox shows himself to be a unique songwriter and singer on this album: do check out “War Peace and Diplomacy” – out today. In the meantime, if you want a preview, here’s a live performance of “White Roses Red”:
Tom Hickox plays the Union Chapel in London on the 25th of March. Tickets can be bought here
Tomorrow: Another album out today, but from a more familiar face: Elbow