PREMIERE: Have your first listen to the debut Anthonie Tonnon album Successor

There’s something absolutely sweet when listening to Successor, the debut album from Anthonie Tonnon. His easy going vocals, the twangy guitars, the peppering of pop sensibilities. All very endearing elements to the listener. It’s one of those albums that feels like stories from your home town told by a stranger that knows too much. Think of this album as the chirpier, more optimistic cousin of Marlon Williams‘ more brooding self-titled debut released earlier this year. Perhaps it’s just a Kiwi thing, but Anthonie Tonnon has a winner on his hands with his debut album.

Anthonie Tonnon Successor

Welcoming, warm and fun, the debut Anthonie Tonnon album Successor sees the young Kiwi explore the follies and triumphs of youth.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Tonnon let’s use this chance to get acquainted. He hails from Auckland, and has been making waves not only in his native New Zealand but in Australia and the US as well. He’s been kicking around for a couple of years now but has already garnered a respectable and dedicated fan base. It’s not hard to see why. His music walks the line between modern folk and indie rock. Sure the trajectory of those two genres have been on a collision course for a while since modern folk singers have increased the pop influences in their music.

The album could get very boring very quickly, but it’s diversity and sly playfulness keeps things intriguing. Take The Songs of Your Youth for example. Sitting in the all important position of second drop, the track changes the mood of the album in an unexpected but welcome way. While the previous tracks boasted a light approach to guitar rock and folksy storytelling, it’s here that Tonnon cuts loose and throws caution to the wind.

The bouncing piano, the Ringo Starr-esque call and response backing vocals and cute children’s choir desire some comparisons to the White Album. It manages to take all of the disparate elements Tonnon is wielding and successfully brings them together in what is a sweet little number. Of course one can’t ignore the wailing lead vocals at the end of the song, something that adds a whole new texture the song.

There are plenty of other highlights, Water Underground and Railway Lines provide plenty of fun guitar pop moments that prop up Tonnon’s wandering vocal musings, but the key track is The Songs of Your Youth. Once it burrows its way into your brain their is no escape and the themes of identity, growth and loneliness become so much more clear once you listen to the album again. Successor is like welcoming an old friend home,  arms outstretched and full of stories of travels and lessons learned.

You can catch Tonnon when he visits Australia for a few select dates in August.

Wednesday, August 5 – Junk Bar, Brisbane, with Seja
Thursday, August 6 – Django Bar, Sydney, with Melodie Nelson and The Singing Skies
Saturday, August 8 – The Bridge, Castlemaine, with Luna Deville
Sunday, August 9 – The Gasometer, Melbourne, with Vowel Movement and Luna Deville