Tom O.C Wilson is a London-based composer of lovingly crafted, infectiously playful arthouse pop. Tell A Friend is the first album put out under his own name, but is the culmination of a much longer journey. Previous collections Animation (2009) and The Night Attendant (2014) came out under the name Freeze Puppy, a one-man band born from a series of musical experiments conducted in a south Bristol bedroom. Upon moving to London in 2012 to start a PhD in Composition at Royal Holloway, Wilson began forging new musical alliances, putting together a four-piece live band, and sketching out his vision of an album that would fuse academic smarts with the effortless tunefulness that had always defined his music.
The result is Tell A Friend, a frothy, colourful 12-song collection that pushes the raw materials of pop into dazzlingly surprising shapes, from the polyrhythmic fervour of "Give Yourself Some Credit" to the Steve Reich-meets-Motown stomp of “The Ones”. Yet as with similarly cerebrally-minded pop acts such as Field Music, Max Tundra and Dirty Projectors, the intricacy of the music is coupled with a knack for melody that ensures the album remains hookily accessible throughout. And the title? After the fictional scenarios of his previous releases, Wilson decided to adopt a more truthful lyrical approach this time round, addressing each song to a real-life person or place. By turns joyful, melancholy, funny and cathartic, Tell A Friend is a celebration of human interaction, brimming over with music that is as inventive as it is life affirming.
Tell a Friend is available from Pickled Egg now; click here for details.
Last updated: 12th October 2017 by Nigel Turner.