From Where I Stand by Thomas Powell
As I venture deeper into the world of self produced music on the internet I realize that although I may not be a full supporter of the digital age because of my love of physical CDs and vinyl, there is a world out there that I would not have been able to access otherwise. Take for instance, the Nottinghamshire, England born Thomas Powell and his amazing debut album. The use of acoustic indie guitars and powerful vocals reminiscent of Noel Gallagher combined with soulful lyrics and compelling ensure that his debut album stakes its claim in the industry
The album opens with 'Evil Eyes,' a melodic, yet aggressive track with provoking lyrics that immediately gives the listener a sense of the type of atmosphere that Powell can create. The next track, 'My Heart's Still Beating,' is a lovely, forlorn love song with a catchy chorus that can't be shaken. The titular track is upbeat and mixes elements of electronic and acoustic instruments to solidify the fact that this album cannot be so simply defined as indie rock. The softer, sorrowful 'One Last Call' is a perfect song for that time of night when you can't sleep and need something to calm your thoughts while lulling your senses into a dreamlike state. As the artist mentions in the interview below, this album was inspired by life, love, and the people around you, and the way that they make you feel and how you will never forget those feelings.
In 'Where Are They Now' a soft, mellow guitar riff charges into a hard electric melody and then eases back again, with lyrics that speak of the good old days when you knew that everyone around you would always be there to stay and nothing could possibly ever change. The slower, acoustic 'Radiowaves' that uplifts the listener and gently sways them into relaxation. Leading off with a heavy piano is the next to last track 'Empty Soul,' a powerful and soulful tune that expresses the want and need to never leave a loved one behind, no matter how hard it hurts. Finishing off the album is 'Someone New,' a catchy, upbeat song that speaks of finding yourself and the person that you could be if you only gave yourself a chance.
I was enamored by this album, as I found the content and composition to be so uplifting yet searing, especially knowing that the album came from life experiences that we all face at some point in our life, no matter how different or similar they may be, we all need an outlet to express the way we feel inside. The best part to this expression is when it comes in the form of art or music, and I have had the pleasure of discovering so many new artists who have something to say and need to free the creativity within them. I highly recommend Thomas Powell to those fans of Indie rock, Oasis, or The Smiths, and I will be sure to check out his new album when it drops in August!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Thomas; check out his answers below!
Tell me a little bit about your background and why you started playing.
Well, I've been playing guitar now for 7 years and I have been writing music since I was 16. Only recently since starting my BA honors music degree have I been focused on writing, recording and producing music on a professional level. It has now taken over my life and I love every aspect of creating music.
What/Who are your musical influences?
My main influence and idol is Noel Gallagher. As a big Oasis fan and since the first time I watched them perform live on TV and starting listening to them properly did I recalldecidethat I wanted to pursue music as a career. My dad happened to be a huge Oasis fan during the 90's and we have always had Oasis CDs around the house. But I'm also influenced by Metallica who I'm another big fanof although I amnot a big metal head at heart. I love their energy and their passion for what they believe in. John Mayer is another big idol for me, his voice is incredible and hissongwritingreally speaks to me and inspires me to want to write music myself.
Your music is described as indie rock yet sounds so much broader, more fully realized. How do you feel you have accomplished this?
Myself and other people have always described my music as Indie rock yet I do have other elements in my writing that could be seen differently. I love the whole production of music and arrangement so for me when writing and recording music the more the better.
On future albums which will be released later in the year, you will see a more defined style that I feel I have found with my music.
This album is incredibly soulful and emotionally moving. What was your inspiration?
The biggest inspiration for me with this album was just everything around me, without wanting to sound too cliché. I write a lot about my experiences in my life and about stereotypical things such as love. Furthermore I think my drive to want to be success with my music and believing in what I write was another big inspiration for me.
How do you feel about the digital revolution in music and has it helped or hindered your success?
I love the digital age. Not as much with the pop charts music but with electronic, hip-hop and rock music which has certainly developed a lot over the years. It's helped me so much in the past few years because I've been able to build a mini 'home studio' which has become a big part of my life and music. Being able to write, record and produce my music in a small space and to use a variety of production techniques, guitar effects, plug-ins and just being able to have the software at the top tip of your fingers is incredible. I look forward to more improvements in the industry with regards to digital music. Bring it on.