It’s difficult to describe just how smooth Tom Misch’s music is. It’s really, really smooth. Think honey running off a spoon – golden, warm, sweet cascades of sound, nothing remotely offensive. It’s the hot fudge Sunday of your music library. It’s delicious and I want more.
With a winning combo of husky vocals and jazz inspired instruments, Tom Misch is a name you better get used to hearing.
This 19-year-old beat maker and general cool dude possesses a special talent for creating music that speaks more to a state of mind than an emotion. By that I mean that his music has a unique capability of cancelling out any strong emotions you might be feeling and clear your mind. Don’t get me wrong it in no way leaves you feeling empty; the music’s affect is neutralising, as if any internal conflict is resolved and you are left to explore the world from a new perspective or just completely tune out and drift within your psyche. Despite still being relatively unknown he is gaining some serious traction and luckily for us the tunes just keep coming.
You know those glorious spring mornings, when the breeze is warm and the heat wakes up the life around you? Flowers bloom and the air is fragrant and just for a second everything is working in perfect harmony and as you inhale a lungful of this magic everything just gets a little bit better? Let me introduce you to the soundtrack for that exact morning, Tom Misch’s jazzy tune, On My Mind.
An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Misch opens this track with a muted backing loop singing “Baby remember when we turned onto a rainy day?” with simple jazz chords reminiscent of a retro 50s elevator soundtrack, the loop is interrupted as Misch’s clear, deep voice acquaints us with his uncomplicated lyrics that float over his carefully crafted electronic lounge beat. This uncontrived and incredibly engaging little tune features some of Misch’s signature guitar riffs that lend a jazz element to the smooth R’n’B rhythms that carry the piece.
What is truly beautiful about this track is the skilful manner in which synthesized beats are woven in with, dare I say it, ‘real instruments’ to create a track with depth as well as a catchy melody. Misch gives appropriate light and shade to each instrument and never overwhelms the combination with excess. Listening carefully you can hear Misch layering looped audio samples, synthesised base beats, sexy guitar licks and vocal sound effects under his rich timber filled voice. It is this skilled combination of sounds that elevates this track out of, what is being called, the ‘instrumental beats’ genre and into a little niche of its own.
Misch’s self-professed obsession with J Dilla is evident in all of the music he creates but it is also wonderfully complimented with jazz chord progressions and occasional scatting. His voice, unlike many R’n’B singers is low, heavy and smoky, reminding me a little of fellow Brit Will Heard. With a whole slew of remixes and collaborations, check out Atmosphere, a collaboration with his neighbour and fellow musician Carmody, there is a lot of love about Tom Misch.
For straight Tom Misch grooviness have a listen to Beat Tape 1, his first official music release. Or swap Para for Cuva’s Wicked Games, currently being featured on the pop radio stations, for the Tom Misch remix. It is at least ten times better. Seriously.
With celebrities like Chloe Grace Moretz tweeting about him it won’t be long before this Londoner hits the big time so for early adopter bragging rights get on his Facebook or Soundcloud now and take a trip to a better state of mind.
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