Singled Out: The Tomicks

The Tomicks

New rock n' roll band The Tomicks just released self-titled debut EP which was inspired by the "magic of the 60s and 70s" era music. To celebrate we asked Tom Cridland to tell us about the release. Here is the story:

It is so easy to not pursue your passions. As a kid, I gave up the piano after six months and the guitar after a year and, yet, music has always been my main hobby. At the same age that I was watching The Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, I was also captivated by The Beatles Anthology films, which see the band telling their own story. From their live shows in suits and Beatle boots when they first conquered America in the early '60s to their experimenting independently in the studio when recording The White Album as things got more tense between them, The Beatles had me instantly hooked on rock n' roll. Fats Domino, Roy Orbison, Elvis, The Beach Boys and Bee Gees were all played regularly but the The Beatles were my idols, John Lennon in particular. Despite this love for music, it was only a couple of years ago that I started playing.

My girlfriend, Debs Marx, and I run a fashion brand, Tom Cridland, and, since 2014, we have had the honour of making clothing for Nigel Olsson, Elton John's drummer since 1969 and a great solo artist in his own right. As a result, he has become a dear friend of ours. His playing is the epitome of tastefulness, always serving the song in an innovative but confidently understated manner. His fills on the likes of "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"sound quite extraordinary. Added to that, he is the most incredible backing vocalist, not only on the likes of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Candle In The Wind" but also on Elton deep cuts like "Pinky", in his own songs such as "Say You Feel The Same" and when playing and singing as a session musician for the likes of Earl Thomas Conley. Nigel has the most unbelievably crisp drum sound live and the first time I heard it I decided I was going to buy a drum kit and actually learn how to play music.

Not long after taking up the drums, I met Nick Whitehead, a piano player and fellow rock n' roll fanatic in 2015, when visiting Nigel at an Elton gig. I had never really met anyone my age so obsessed by the same bands and artists that I am, and certainly not someone who was not only extremely knowledgeable about Elton John's discography but could play it all perfectly, even the live versions with tricky piano embellishments! We started jamming together and then, in 2016, writing together, subsequently forming The Tomicks with Debs. We were so happy with our original material that, using money Debs and I had saved up to buy a house with, we self-funded sessions for an album at The Village in Los Angeles in February. We played Kenji Suzuki, the renowned session guitarist, our demos ahead of these sessions and he liked what he heard so much he came with us to LA to play bass and guitar on the album.

We couldn't be happier with The Tomicks record and we are passionate about trying to recapture what we see as the magical spirit of music from the '60s and '70s, in particular the likes of Elton, the Eagles and The Beatles. Our songwriting process has so far always been the same. I write a set of lyrics in its entirety, Nick has some chord ideas on piano and we meet to write together in a truly collaborative way. Our first EP has three songs on it, all of which feature what I'd call our signature sound: Nick's incredible piano playing, deeply personal lyrics, lots of guitars, big drums and rich vocal harmonies. That said, all three of the tracks are very different.

"Break Up Anthem" is really influenced by solo Lennon and is lyrically quite bitter. It tells the story of a couple who seem like they're headed to splitting up but then end up together. "Candlelight" is a joyous tribute to all our favourite Southern California rock, the likes of Crosby, Stills & Nash and Poco. It's just a very happy song about being in love, with harmonies and a nice piano solo on it. "Hair Clip" is a song I wrote about Debs and its the track we've got the best feedback on so far.

Making The Tomicks record has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life and, if you're reading this, love music and haven't taken up playing due to lack of time or laziness, I urge you to stop missing out. It turns out buying that drum kit was the best decision I ever made.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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