Tom The Lion – Sleep


Just who is Tom The Lion? Well he is a British singer songwriter who has cast one seriously mesmeric embrace with his new album Sleep. Other than that, the Leamington Spa bred, London based artist is pretty much a mystery yet to show itself but musically everything you need to know is in the magnetic adventure which makes his latest release one captivating proposition.

2011 saw the acclaimed release of The Adventures of Tom the Lion, the collecting of two previously limited vinyl-only 10″ double EPs. Without seeking out media and critical attention the release was devoured by fans, selling out with ease and now Tom returns with his debut album, building on the impressive base of the earlier encounters and giving more fuel to those classing the artist alongside the likes of Nick Drake, Mark Hollis, and Thom Yorke. It is a release which smoulders from start to finish with an emotive resonance and melodic beauty, each track an intimate yet sonically epic and expressive spark for the imagination. The album does not ignite as many fires in the passions as maybe wished, though when it does ardour is the only outcome, but Sleep is certainly a persistently and thoroughly absorbing journey for thoughts and emotions inspiring a definite hunger.

The album’s title track opens up the release and soon has the ears and imagination eating out of its hand. As guitar coaxing entwines with a shimmering sonic twang whilst distinctive vocal harmonies seep from the throat of Tom, it is like tom-the-lionlying on an aural sea bed watching crystalline light glancing off of and over elegant and expressive melodic colours. Floating with enchanting somnolence over the senses, eclectic hues whispering across the slowly expanding landscape, the song reminds of Lune Palmer and when it explodes into a roar of evocative enterprise of David Byrne. It is a glorious song and an irresistible start to Sleep.

The following Motorcade lays a shadowed beauty on the shoulder of the senses to make a companion but openly different engagement to its predecessor. As with all the songs, it nudges and lures in the listener and their thoughts, though it is also unafraid to expel a more voracious breath at times to crinkle the air and fire up the suasion of the track. Keys and guitar shine brightly as they shimmer, merging reserved caresses with more agitated flames of magnetic invention whilst vocally Tom again draws a potent narrative upon the similarly impacting canvas.

Both Silent Partner and Oil Man keep the striking start to the album in masterful control, even though neither can quite match the previous tracks. The first of the two entices with raw chords and sultry melodies, uniting both in evocative atmospheres over emotion sculpted scenery whilst the second is a haunted and insular soundscape wrapped in warm intrigue. There is a cryptic essence to the song which seduces the imagination whilst once more the vocals manage to sooth and stir up the senses for an appealing incitement. The success of the pair is emulated by Beholden with its classical honed grace and imposing drama, and then the rhythmically enticing November’s Beach. The latter is a gentle yet blazingly warm sunset on the senses with an instinctively gripping dance of adventurous rhythms. Its bait is irresistible, enslaving an already keen appetite with a flavoursome climate of humid sonic enticing and melodic delirium.

Neither Every Single Moment or Winter’s Wool can live up to those before it but each still offers a compelling and lingering presence through smiling guitar enterprise leading to a fiery crescendo and immersive textures of siren-esque and celestial temptation respectively. Lofty heights are soon found again with Our Beloved Past, a stunning slice of folk pop which bounces resourcefully like the offspring of Raglans and The Divine Comedy. From keys to guitar, rhythms to vocals, the song is a poetic fire of passion and contagious invention.

Through the darkly shadowed sky of Ragdoll, the album finds another unexpected pinnacle. Its cloudy emotion and slightly twisted breath is a hypnotic slow walk of angst kissed resonance and melodic exploration which is as compelling as it is startling, though its flow into a more mellow passage loses a little of its early impact.

The album is brought to a close by the catchy bounce and energy of Heal and lastly the intimate emotion of Come To Life, two enjoyable songs which make a fine end to a great release without making a lingering impact individually. Sleep as a whole does though and shows why Tom The Lion is so keenly thought of by so many. The album does not as mentioned stir up a major fire inside and in thoughts but it does trigger a need to know and hear more.

Sleep is available now digitally, vinyl, and CD on Wrasse Records @ and @


RingMaster 15/08/2014

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Lune Palmer – The Rooster


Immersive and mesmeric, and that is underplaying its presence, the debut album from Lune Palmer is one of the most transfixing soundscapes of emotional  and sonic beauty to come along this year. The Rooster is an eight track release which resonates in thought and imagination whilst seducing with a blend of folk and melodic rock aligned to electro elegance. Vocally and musically the encounter wraps and washes the senses in ambient and atmospheric fascination, a coaxing which has the passions discovering a near on lustful greed for.

Hailing from Lausanne, Switzerland, Lune Palmer was formed in 2006 by Vladimir Skrivan (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards and machines). Alongside a guitarist friend, the band was founded  as a folk project based on Skrivan’s compositions. The sound of the band evolved as electronic elements were brought into the mix and the line-up changed across the subsequent years up to first EP Light Light of 2010. With inspirations from the likes of Blonde Redhead, Radiohead, and Portishead said to have added to the imagination adventure it is clear that here is where the majesty upon The Rooster began to blossom. The following year saw the band evolve again becoming the trio of Skrivan, Martin Perret (drums and machines), and Michael Gaio (keyboard, machines). In 2012 the band recorded their debut full-length, self-releasing it in March this year. Then August saw the band approached by Hummus Records about releasing the album, its wider release now coming via the label, and with a new line-up of guitarist Mathieu Jallut (Abraham), and drummer Antony Cohen alongside Skrivan and Gaio, Lune Palmer you suspect is poised to emerge as a major force in emotion fuelled atmospheric music.

Brutus Blume opens up the release with a dawning almost drone like slow sonic call which is soon joined by a delicious dark and 04_TheRoosterCoveremotive deep electro temptation. The shadow clad lure continues to tempt across the song as the rhythms add a lively energy but one restrained enough to compliment the emotive soak as the outstanding vocals of Skrivan seduce every syllable and note into existence which in turn work their seduction on the ears and passions of their recipients. Skrivan’s androgynous voice is sheer beauty, a spellbinding caress which like the music is pure and lean but dense and intense simultaneously. The rhythms constantly enslave attention and appetite just as impressively as the vocals whilst the melodic weave cast by keys and guitar embraces the imagination for a richly hued venture. It is a stunning entrance into the album.

The following Retracted Love does not have the bounce of its predecessor but certainly has all of the charm and craft, the vocals soaring to higher noted levels whilst the melancholic breath and touch of the keys accentuates their and the composition’s glory. With teasing enterprise from the guitar and firm rhythms framing the floating celestial toxicity of the song, Lune Palmer places the listener in an ethereal narrative of radiant magnetism, the same which can be said of the album and certainly the next up title track. Electro beats ‘niggle’ from start to finish whilst a pop air to the song shares its place with a hypnotic tango of rhythmic unpredictability. It is a track which takes a little longer to persuade but soon joins the ranks of potent peaks upon The Rooster, continuing the already clear diversity to the release. With a voice as strong and striking as here, a great many bands would slip into a similarity or formula caress across songs to maximise the delivery but Lune Palmer do not come close, every track distinct and presented in all aspects with an individual clarity which deeply impresses.

The sublime piano led ballad Meet Horselover Fat is the next tempter on the album, the song an evolving piece of emotional grandeur which intensifies and expands across its breath-taking length, and is immediately succeeded by the plainer but no less absorbing Océan Mer. Both tracks place new dark and light merged scenarios before the flight of the imagination before making way for the excellent Urban Monad 116 with its submerged beats alongside a riveting guitar persuasion. In many ways the track reminds of Young Marble Giants, the simplicity but unbridled wonderment at the heart of the song close to that of the Welsh band.

The release is completed by the smouldering Waters and finally the gripping Together; both songs quite beautiful with the last bursting with drama from every one of its notes. Also watch out for the wonderful hidden track at the end of the album, a folk sunset to bask in. They complete an astonishing release which words cannot do justice to, only direct encountering from ears and emotions can truly feel the melodic alchemy brought within The Rooster by Lune Palmer, and that is a must for all.


RingMaster 20/11/2013

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