Detest group messages? So does Tom Calder on his dry-witted single JOKE/DREAM

Much can be said about Tom Calder’s new track JOKE/DREAM. It’s smooth, it’s sexy, it’s sparkly. But above all, it’s unlike anything you hear on mainstream radio. Or any kind of radio for that matter.

Despite the song’s brilliance, Tom Calder may be an unfamiliar name to you. However, Calder is no stranger to releasing music. Having performed under monikers Daggy Man and The Trouble With Templeton in the past, this is his first release under his own name, marking the start of a new chapter in his career.

thomas calder joke/dream eat more records

After years experimenting under different pseudonyms, Thomas Calder has distilled his musical chops into a track that’s dreamy, quick-witted and delicate.

“I’m interested in all different types of music”, Tom says. “So the music I make under Daggy Man or The Trouble With Templeton is just one side of the music I want to write”.

The ambition to record music under his own name was always there, but he “struggled and felt unsure of how it would fit into how I like to release music.” Thankfully, he found the answer in the music itself. “Every project offers something unique and equally valuable, but using my own name frees up the music a little.”

Whereas Calder previously used monikers to provide “more of a scape to the world of the songs”, he says he has finally “arrived at a place in my life where I feel more comfortable using my own name.”

Back to the song itself, JOKE/DREAM is quite a mind-bend. It’s a smooth R&B croon over electronic beats and synths. The chorus flows effortlessly and naturally plants itself in your mind for the rest of the day. But the real highlight comes about three quarters through. The beats stop, the melody fades off, but Calder delivers a seething and relatable rant about group messages.

Whilst it may seem out of the blue, it’s arguably the track’s stand-out moment, because we all know what it’s like. “I don’t answer group messages”, he begins. “Don’t fucking send me shit that I don’t wanna fucking read. If it’s for someone else send it to someone else, if it’s for me send it to me.” And then it just drops straight back into the song as if nothing happened.

According to Calder, it was a “completely spontaneous and improvised” outburst inspired by a bunch of messages he was receiving in a group chat whilst recording. So, instead of the melody he was trying to lay down for that section, he opted for a hilarious and relatable rant that makes the song.

JOKE/DREAM is also his first solo release on his new record label Eat More Records, having released Mid Ayr’s most recent track Exit. Hoping to use the label as a hub for more creation and exploration, he reassures that JOKE/DREAM “exists in a different world than a lot of the other music I’m working on at the moment”, and he’s determined not to box himself into any one genre or style.

Thankfully, this is not the last we will hear of Tom Calder.


JOKE/DREAM is out now on Eat More Records.