Owen Tromans
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Owen Tromans

Andover, England, United Kingdom

Andover, England, United Kingdom
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter

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This band has not uploaded any videos

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Press


"Download of the week"

"Steely acoustic guitar with lashings of romantic sentiment"
OBSERVER - The Observer


"Review of Hope is a Magnet at DOA"

Owen Tromans plays rock 'n roll with a folk troubadour's soul. In his latest release, the British musician eschews the folk style from his latest releases, which called to mind the traditions of the United Kingdom's countryside, and returns to a full-band sound. Hope is a Magnet emphasizes big electric guitar riffs, catchy rhythms, sing-along choruses, and tight, emphatic song structures.


But what sets Hope is a Magnet apart from other rock albums is that folk soul of Tromans'. His songs feel more like stories, weaving some recurring characters from past releases with lyrics that go far beyond the typical stories of love and angst that permeate the medium. Tromans showed his rock chops with the band San Lorenzo, and here he shows how he can merge that style with his solo folkier roots to create a truly great pop-rock album.


The album's single, “Light it Up,” is a call to action song filled with big guitar riffs and plenty of rock 'n roll rhythm. For the catchiest track, transition quickly into “Levitate Me Judith,” a bouncy pop track that will have you bobbing your head from the first note. The combination of upbeat, plucked acoustic guitar and the electric rhythm guitar gives the song a unique and chiming quality. “Evangeline” picks up on that somewhat, with a lighter and more personal feel. (I can't help but wonder if this is the same Evangeline Matthew Sweet sang about.)


My favorite track here is “Korea,” an up-tempo and catchy song with a brilliant chorus that I've had stuck in my head for weeks now. You'll be singing along with “Hey girl, where ya going so fast, you know I only wanted to try to make this last” in no time. “Dust of Stars” reminds me of the classic British invasion rock, and “Hey Moon” shows the more folky, acoustic side of Tromans' spirit while still possessing an up-beat rock chorus. The big rock 'n roll sound comes back with garage riffs on “Ghosts!”, while the instrumental “Cuckoos Over Cradley” showcases Tromans' guitar prowess. The closer, “Pinball,” builds on a thick rock reverb and quiet horns before ending the album subtly.


Hope is a Magnet is the finest release yet by an artist with an immense amount of talent. Tromans proves his songwriting chops along with a jubilant sense of the roots of rock 'n roll and pumps out 10 catchy, brilliant tracks. Don't miss this one.

- Delusions of Adequacy


"Review of Hope is a Magnet at Americana UK"

Owen Tromans has been knocking about for a while, he released a few solo things and was in a band called San Lorenzo, that none other than John Peel took a fancy too. The impression this record creates has you asking yourself whether there’s a place right now for intelligently written and snappily played pop music, there should be, which of course doesn’t mean there is, but this music does deserve to be heard. The songs are in the post-Morrissey Brit Pop landscape, shot through with some Billy Bragg in both content and delivery, particularly ‘Dust Of Stars’, which also has some fine guitar moments, a dash of Squeeze comes through too, ‘Levitate Me Judith’ has lines such as ‘Hey you’re the mind expander, lets get drunk on my veranda’ which actually calls to mind one of Victoria Wood’s comic efforts rather than the bards of Salford and Barking! He also manages to squeeze in the well phrased ‘A missile is still a missile even if fired by mistake’.

‘Last Word On the Sunshine Girls’ sounds like a slow paced version of the Only Ones ‘Another Girl Another Planet’ with added atmosphere courtesy of some pedal steel, its an effective and moving song. Some songs still have a demo feel, ‘Hey Moon’ starts off sounding like it’s the first time its been played, but it does pick up. If the likes of the Kooks and the View can have monster hits, and they can, then it doesn’t take much of a leap of faith to see Owen Tromens hitting the same heights, though maybe the occasional sound of the pedal steel and spot of instrumental inventiveness (‘Cuckoos Over Cradley’) makes things too grown up for the young music buyers of today? ‘I don’t need reassurin’ just coz someone says Im borin’’, he sings, just to reassure you Owen, whether you need it or not, you’re not boring!


Date review added: Friday, March 07, 2008
Reviewer: Patrick Wilkins
Reviewers Rating:
Related web link: www.owentromans.co.uk
- Americana UK


"Hope is a Magnet Review from Losing Today"

It’s claimed to be his best and most fully formed release to date, and not having heard Tromans earlier work it’s hard to disagree. On this evidence it’s obvious that he’s a songwriter with wisdom beyond the years that his youthful looking press photo might suggest. As this sentence proves, the blend of smart rock, hobnail folk, twee indie, popabilly and country & northern defies tidy and immediate comparison but, for his lyrical realism and free spirited approach to musical style, Frank Turner would have to be named as his most obvious contemporary.

Far from betraying his Black Country roots, Tromans has a chameleonic ability to match his voice to whichever sonic environment it happens upon. This is illustrated from the off by the switch between the pop rock bluster of ‘Light it Up’, in which he is for all the world the long lost member of Weezer, and ‘Levitate me Judith’, whence it appears he has adopted the guise of Jack Penate. Moving on, gentler moments ensue with the sublime ‘Hey Moon’ taking in the balladry of Roddy Frame and the soporific ambience of ‘The Last Word On The Sunshine Girls’ providing a worthy reinvention of ‘Sing Me to Sleep’, and both become highlights.

Whilst this flitting between styles continues throughout, the sharp metaphors and clever observations are constant. And so it is that lyrics such as, ‘Come on put your hands together, cassette tapes don’t last forever’ and ‘Use a different metaphor please, ‘cos dogs have never agreed with me’ serve to entertain and add colour and weight to an otherwise nervous voice. And that highlights Tromans strength; while he may not be a tremendous singer, he is a songwriter of much talent. Besides, there’s a wit, wisdom and honesty here that doesn’t call for melodramatics or glass shattering vocal gymnastics. ‘Dust of Stars’ is a prime example and the albums pinnacle – a rallying cry that Billy Bragg would be proud of.


RICHARD STOKOE



- Losing Today


"Hope is a Magnet Review from Clickmusic"

'Hope Is A Magnet' is the latest musical instalment from Black Country born singer/songwriter Owen Tromans and his fifth solo release in all. With ten songs clocking in at just under 36 minutes there is time enough on the shortest of lunch breaks or walks to appreciate this long-awaited follow to 2005's EP 'Your Heart Is Not Broken'.

Despite its brevity it would be a mistake to label 'Hope Is A Magnet' as overtly radio friendly, save for the deliriously joyous 'Light It Up', which opens the album. This track contrasts sharply with some of the more reflective material on display, though the track selection strikes a good balance between each extreme.

The gentle acoustic melancholia of 'Last Word On The Sunshine Girls', with its gorgeous pedal steel accompaniment and thoughtfully constructed lyrics, has a certain timeless quality about it that raises itself above a never ending stream of contemporaries. 'Hey Moon' is another standout with its subtle use of backing vocals and sprinklings of tambourine. It is the aural equivalent of a warm bath after a bruising and battering 90 minutes in the pounding rain and heavy mud - the sound of calm after the storm.

Throughout, the lyrics are most striking - deeply poetic and richly evocative. Album highlight 'Dust Of Stars' sees Tromans singing how "hope is a magnet, and I was drawn to it" before the declaration "we are the dust of stars and our choices" - a cut above the glorified sixth form poetry peddled by many. Add to this some blistering Coxon-like guitar intermissions and you have a track that will have your MP3 repeat function working overtime.

This record won't start a musical revolution, but it's one to treasure from a guy that seems destined for cult status over major sales. A lot of work has clearly gone into production and instrumentation to create an LP of tremendous depth from an exceptional and undervalued talent. - Clickmusic


"Splendid Review of From A Lost Library"

Rising from the ashes of English post-rock upstarts San Lorenzo, Owen Tromans releases a victorious slice of folk rock grandeur. Obvious Nick Drake leanings are displayed in Tromans's crisp finger-picked style, augmented by just the right amount of sonic excursion and balladry. Vocally an interesting juxtaposition of Billy Bragg troubadour and Neil Young dissonant twang, Tromans captivates with simplicity. Lyrically, he matches Damien Jurado for sheer charismatic power and imagery. These oblique reference points play out over sonic flavorings of San Lorenzo's post/math rock power and Tromans's distinct individuality.
Quiet, we've been told, is the new loud, and if you listen you can hear the strength of the past and the heartbeat of the future in Tromans's magical yarns. On first listen, the plaintive vocals and acoustic guitar can almost seem a bit nondescript and meandering, but closer inspection will reveal the burning glory of Tromans's folky quietude, enlivened with subtle sonic embellishments of post-rock fusion. Hints of regulated math rock flourishes provide a lucid respite from the formidable air of gloom that pervades the disc, augmenting its riveting authority.

From A Lost Library is Tromans's second solo release -- a diversion from his duties with power rock trio After Rome, perhaps designed to quell his more aggressive inclinations. Fortunately, After Rome doesn't sap all of Tromans's most visceral tendencies; the arresting power and beauty he conveys in instrumentals "Walnut" and "A Good Storm" says much about his musical control. Even so, lyrical dexterity seems more important here than compositional flair; witness rich and enthralling imagery such as "Three"'s introspective look at a trio of intertwined lives "The moon is in the sky / Even though it's not yet dark / And there's plenty more stones to throw in this world when things start to fall apart."

Tromans's gift is the creation of a singular entity and emotion. He weaves a magical web of story and music that might initially seem understated -- but once you stop and breathe deep the proverbial roses, damn, you're hooked.

-- Ryan Smith - Splendid


"Place Review from Indie Workshop"

In the world of singer/songwriters Owen Tromans stands out as a man of few words and delicate, haunting musicianship. Like a more sophisticated Hayden, he uses his understated vocals and entrancing songwriting to convey his folk-rock balladry. His third solo album, Place, is notable if just for it’s impressive ability to provide consistency while making daring strides at branching out musically. Tromans is a storyteller but unlike most narratives his music stands on it’s own so much that there is an interesting instrumental included on the album. Vocally his pace is slow and not sluggish as with Mark Kozelek but musically he refuses to be pinned down.

Place is a quiet, unhurried album that gets under your skin with it’s intensity. It becomes a calming backdrop for reflection with moments that fill every void without over crowding. It’s a wonder and a surprise…it’s a definite rarity that cannot be blocked in by it’s own boundaries. - Indie Workshop


Discography

The Major Works:
Box of Tapes (2001: Sacred Geometry)
From A Lost Library (2003: Sacred Geometry)
Place (2004: Bearos Records)
Your Heart Is Not Broken (2005: Keep Recordings)
Hope Is A Magnet (2008: Sacred Geometry)
The Fall of Acre (2009: Sacred Geometry)

For exhaustive discography including a list of minor works and contributions to compilations etc. go to: http://www.sacredgeometry.cn/owentromans/discography.htm

Hear streaming songs at: http://www.owentromans.co.uk/music.htm

Photos

Bio

Owen Tromans grew up in The Black Country and led John Peel favourites San Lorenzo before pursuing a solo career that has seen him release several acclaimed albums and tour extensively, playing with the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Idlewild, Plush and The Autumn Defense. Owen has also appeared on records with Devendra Banhart, Mercury Rev, Bardo Pond and members of REM and Sonic Youth, most notably “Chamber Music” on Fire Records. The Observer singled out Owen’s contribution to the compilation for its “Steely acoustic guitar with lashings of romantic sentiment.”

"The Fall of Acre" chronicles the continued stories of the characters that have populated much of Tromans' previous work. John finds himself snared by cult leader Acre in the Led Zep meets Can stomp of "The Bad One/House of the Magicks" before his life again entwines with that of Mary and Lucy in "The Coast". As John is freed so Lucy is willingly enthralled, causing great pain to the album's unnamed narrator.

The album's second movement dreams a murky, seaborne world of blind captains, ravens and shanties. Flowing from the garage rock kick of "Crew of the Raven" to the twisted traditional shanty "The Dead-Eyed Man", our dreamer finally meets with Death himself in “A Terrible Bird”.

The gunned thrash of “The Wake Up” signals an end to dreams and a rush across the Atlantic leads us to Acre and his followers. "Acre" itself is the album's centre-piece, telling of Lucy's first visit to The House of the Magicks, before taking us deeper into the cult. The aftermath of our narrator’s too-late arrival is heralded by the pounding “To Vanquish A Serpent” while the closing “One Last Lucy Song” completes the cycle with a ragged grandeur.