The title track of Tom Joshua’s new EP, ‘Undergrowth’ is chock-full of rousing nostalgia for the comfort of one’s hometown.
Hailing from Stockton-on-Tees, singer-songwriter Tom Joshua’s artistic goal is to evoke the inspiration and fondness he has drawn from his north-eastern roots; “the North East as a whole has always been a fertile ground for artistic growth; a mix of leftover industries and the long-felt effects of disproportionate government policy.” Despite being from opposite ends of the country, Tom exudes this palpable authenticity and genuine love that gets me sentimental for my hometown too. The shops our parents dragged us to, the car parks where our mates gathered after school, the pubs we drank at when we turned freshly eighteen – these are Tom’s scenes of comfort.
Citing influences such as Nick Drake, Big Thief and – an all-time favourite of mine – Sigur Rós, ‘Undergrowth’ is driven by thick harmonies, dynamic structure, and atypical tom-driven drum beats. Indeed, the track is reminiscent of a more upbeat Sigur Rós song; carrying a thick atmosphere and the chorus’ layers of clacking and thumping percussion, though distinctly singer-songwriter in style, somewhere cosy in the realm of alternative folk indie-pop.
I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to delve into ‘Undergrowth’s chorus, because I’ve had it going round in my head for four days. The driven, marching-style, chopped-up melody matches the drums to create one of the most infectious hooks that I’ve ever reviewed; that I’ve been walking around the house chanting “Here I go! / Here I go! / Here I go!” can attest to that. It’s a real festival-anthem chorus, and once we’re allowed to gig again, watching Tom and his crowd will be a truly wholesome experience.