Tom West
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Tom West

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

New York City, NY | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Faintlife // d.c.R. Pollock // Tom West // Crusoe // nRCS"

Tom West – Antarctica

“While I’ve been performing this year there was a consistent theme of people approaching me after the shows saying how much they loved this song,” stated TOM WEST. “I wanted to share it as we approach the end of the year to say thanks to all the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, performing with and performing for this year.” TOM WEST’s ‘Antarctica’ derives the individual strengths in part, and amplifies the efforts to a more purer and endemic proliferation of thought and feelings. The beautiful indie-folk strumming of his guitar to his rapturous vocals brings us all to a point of departure to a better world. - comeherefloyd


"Tom West doesn’t skimp on new single ‘Got It Cheap’"

ustralian singer/songwriter Tom West has delivered a taste of his latest LP in the newly released single “Got It Cheap.” The leisurely moving and upbeat track was one of the early songs he composed for a new album — titled I’m Livin’ with a release date TBD — and West’s goal was to step out of the box of the “picky-guitar style” he had been doing for a few years, culminating on the track “Easy, Love” from the 2015 album Oncoming Clouds.

“Not because I don’t like that style anymore,” West tells Vanyaland. “I rather just felt like going back to basics to a degree to see what I could do, to keep myself interested. So I think that’s part of the difference you can hear between the style of ‘Got it Cheap’ and ‘Easy, Love.’”

Featuring production from Collin Pastore, who produced Lucy Dacus’ 2016 effort No Burden, the song came from West feel a bit jaded at his place in the world, overwhelmed by the advertising and pressures to consume anything and everything that bombard us in our day-to-day lives.

“As time went on, I realized that there is a cheapness, in many ways, to the way that society values people and our relationships,” he says. “I’d just been fired from doing cover gigs because I hated doing them and I was shit at it, so was working in a bar. All my friends were either grinding out full-time jobs or broke as fuck like I was. At the time, I was on hiatus from a relationship and, as much as I hate to admit now, was embarrassingly dabbling in Tinder and just feeling lost. I’d walk a lot and smoke weed and think about how fucking strange everything was and write parts for the album and play around with musical ideas.”

What started out as just messing about with loose concepts for a record down the road took on a much more serious tone when West’s father became ill and eventually passed away.

“With my old man getting sick and dying, this idea of the cheapness of our lives really became the stepping stone, or starting point, into the whole album which took on a bigger scope than I could have ever originally imagined,” West says. “I think that the story of the album was ultimately very cathartic for me.”

When the recording of the first batch of songs was completed at a makeshift studio in the Adelaide hills, West and his bandmates were beyond happy with them, especially “Got It Cheap,” leading to a bit of an unconventional celebration.

“We were pretty pleased when we listened back and thought it was a cool song, even though it had a pretty unconventional form,” he says. “At the end of the week, we cleaned everything, got rinsed, and danced all night to Michael Jackson, which was way more fun than it should have been.” - Vanyaland


"PREMIERE: QUESTIONING MEMORIES AND CONTINUATIONS OF THE PAST WITH TOM WEST’S “KING CAMBYSES”"

While dreamily pacing through vast landscapes full of possibilities, Tom West’s “King Cambyses” reflects on the way our experience of memory alters our understanding of the present.
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What happens to the moments stored in our minds when we stop thinking about them? Or when objects that held an everyday status in our lives, not really thought about but always there, suddenly disappear? Are they lost forever, banished into nothingness? Or do they live on in some way, invisible like ghosts? It’s questions likes these that are pondered throughout Tom West’s new single “King Cambyses,” backed by a slightly heavier, more energetic sound than his previous material.

Where did all the small things go?
Dropped in the cracks
In the wooden floor
Lost armies of King Cambyses
Shangri-La and Persepolis
Where did they go?

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “King Cambyses,” the second release off Tom West’s upcoming album I’m Livin’. The gentle plucking of acoustic guitar that largely makes up West’s earlier songs has been replaced with several electric ones and a hyperactive symbol-led beat all giving the impression of being in motion, moving forward with only thoughts for company.

Inspired by the story of King Cambyses, emperor of the ancient Persian Empire, directing an army into the Egyptian desert which then disappeared in a sandstorm, the song gives the impression of pacing through a vast landscape under a pastel-coloured sky. There’s the beat that commences it, setting the rhythm, followed by the twangs of guitar creating the mood. The pace picks up throughout with the latter half an amalgamation of everything, West repeating the statement and question ‘I believed in ghosts’ and ‘where did they go?’ as though yearning for answers.

“This song reflects on the way that our experience of memory and hindsight affects our experience and understanding of the present,” West tells Atwood Magazine. “I found this to be a curious image to ponder and it got me wondering about what else we can lose and where those things end up: coins through floorboards, glaciers, beliefs, ghosts and memories… As a child, I would often get terrified at night sleeping by myself in my upstairs bedroom, so I wonder, what happened to those things and where did they go? Perhaps they are they still here, or they get lost in a sandstorm.”


Where did all the big things go?
The glaciers and the volcanos
Where did they go?
The adamance of having believed in ghosts, both literately and metaphorically, suggests the presence of an afterlife but the clarity of said afterlife is left inconclusive with the song seemingly trailing off, the reverb of guitar right at the end like a line in the sand or somebody’s hand waving in the distance, encouraging the listener to reflect on their own experiences.

Where did they go?
Where did they go?
I believed in, I believed in ghosts

“King Cambyses” sees West moving in a new direction, one that’s rockier holds a little more intensity. The Australian singer/songwriter’s debut album, A Spark in the Dark, was released in 2013 and follow-ups Oncoming Clouds (2015) and Golden Fleeces (2016) were made available via his Bandcamp and itunes. All of them conform to dreamy folkiness with influence taken from nature and the emotive sceneries captured on his adventures. In “King Cambyses,” these influences are still present, especially with the addition of a Yamaha VSS-30 voice sampler keyboard, for example.

“There are moments where that VVS-30 sounds a bit like a goat or sheep calling,” West explains. “So ‘I believe in goats’ has become a little bit of a running joke!” The song is one of the earliest ones off I’m Livin’ and was recorded during the original album sessions at Mt Crawford up in the luscious Adelaide Hills before being polished up and finished, along with the album, in Nashville with engineer Collin Pastore. The production of “King Cambyses” is therefore a taking of Tom West’s roots and Aussie soundscapes and coating them with the traditions of folk and country. And, with the plentiful use of rhetorical questions, he’s inviting us into it too. - Atwood Magazine


"REVIEW: TOM WEST @ GRACE EMILY HOTEL"

Finally, West crammed onto the small stage with his six piece band. After the first few songs, West shared that it was the first time the entire band had actually played together, but despite this, they played as a tight, cohesive unit, as if they had been playing together for years. The set showcased how intricate and layered West's tracks are, proving how much he pays attention to detail with every note and strum having a purpose. A major stand out was an unreleased track titled, Prescription For Reality, which was a gorgeous tune, filled with beautiful, brooding melodies. As the set began to draw to a close, West played his latest single, All My Friends Are Scientists, which was a real set highlight, showcasing West's vocals and atmospheric instrumentals. The entire set was filled with so much genuine, raw emotion whilst also displaying a huge array of local talent from all the musicians on stage. - This is Radelaide


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Bio

Tom West is an Australian singer‐songwriter performing music that traverses the rocky and undulating ground between simple, whimsical folk tunes and grand and moody soundscapes.

Delivering shows where his purposeful songwriting, unforgettable voice and intricate arrangements come to the fore. Equally comfortable performing solo or with backing band, he has drawn comparisons to the likes of Volcano Choir, Andrew Bird, The Lumineers, Of Monsters & Men & Ben Howard. West’s latest work explores new boundaries in his writing and composing.

'Antarctica' is the new single from Australian singer-songwriter Tom West. The release follows months of touring in the USA, Australia & Canada.

The song was recorded live at Smoakstack Studio in Nashville with guest artists Robbie Cavanagh (UK) & Demi Marriner (UK) providing backing on 12-string guitar and vocal harmonies. A pair who he met during a House of Songs facilitated songwriting camp in Arkansas in September.

"While I've been performing this year there was a consistent theme of people approaching me after the shows saying how much they loved this song. I wanted to share it as we approach the end of the year to say thanks to all the people I've had the pleasure of meeting, performing with and performing for this year.

"It is a song about a moment of reflection I experienced recently; I was looking south out into the vast Southern Ocean with my late old man on a trip we took before he passed away. It occurred to me then that there was nothing else out there until you reach Antarctica. I hope that anyone who listens to the tune can get taken to a place that is important to them, maybe it's a city, mountain, forest, house, desert, park, rooftop, beach, anywhere."

West, who will be based in the US for the foreseeable future, completed a 15+ date US tour that’s book‐ended by Philadelphia Folk Festival, and sees him finish up at BreakOut West in Canada’s picturesque town of Kelowna. Along the way he’ll perform as part of Americanafest with shows at iconic Nashville establishments, the Bluebird Cafe and The 5 Spot.

2018  saw West’s songs resonate with new fans around the world. Additions to major Spotify playlists and consecutive ads to radio in his native Australia confirm the songwriters ability to connect with his booming number of listeners.

Armed with a new repertoire of songs and stories following on from years of performing, writing and traveling between Australia, Europe & the Americas West will be continuing to touring his upcoming material in the USA throughout 2019.