Stream: Tom Williams & The Boat - Teenage Blood

Listen to the full album...
Tom Williams and the Boat.jpg
The ongoing wave of folk-textured songwriting has produced more than its fair share of anaemic, dungaree-clad wannabes.

Tom Williams & The Boat are not amongst them. Hailing from Tunbridge Wells, the band's music has plenty of acoustic whims but alongside this are shades of an art rock heritage.

There are flecks of cult indie outsiders The Triffids on new album 'Teenage Blood', while the guitars have a crisp edge which recall elements of alt rock dons Sebadoh.

More anti-folk (in the Jeffrey Lewis sense) than nu-folk, 'Teenage Blood' is due to be released on April 16th. ClashMusic have obtained an advance stream - listen to the album below and then check out a track by track guide from the band.



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Teenage Blood
This is the title track to the new album. A big country rock stomper, this track opens the album with a big ambient count in, testament to the space in which the album was recorded - a working brewery. This place served as the bands HQ in the center of the Kent country side. With a country fiddle and lilting harmonies, the track shows a more melodic & constructed approach to the songwriting on this album, as well as exhibiting newer influences, from Teenage Fanclub and Big Star, to The Band and Tom Petty. Teenage Blood was a song that came late in the process of writing the album, a project that amassed over 100 songs, with the band eventually recording 23 over a 12 day session in the Summer 2011. Teenage Blood was one of a handful of re-written or, 'Frankenstein-ed' songs that were some of the last to be recorded for the forthcoming second Tom Williams & The Boat album under the same name.

Lyrically the song dwells on a sense of genetic inevitability to the woes of relationships broken and lost, and establishes a theme for the new album, the post relationship aftershock apocalypse!

Too Young
Another late comer to the party, Too Young was one of the last songs to be recorded for the new album. As straight forward a pop song as the band have penned to date, Too Young represents a pop sensibility and clarity, newly found on this album. Musically referencing anything from a tearful The Cure, to a Subterranean Bob Dylan, the song sees the band break free from previously exhausted folk references into a fresher sounding British guitar pop sound, more typical to the most recent material.

Little Bit In Me
The first song to be written for the new album, Little Bit In Me re-establishes the dark musical and lyrical content of previous Tom Williams & The Boat singles such as See My Evil and Get Older. The lyrics meander and stagger through a landscape of scarred and pitted characters, all ever present in a nightmarish gene pool that I yearn to escape from! With the violin referencing a Rolling Thunder era Dylan, and the guitar a Bends era Johnny Greenwood, Little Bit In Me is one of the more aggressive moments on the album, and is already a firm live favourite.

Trouble With The Truth
Trouble With The Truth was written early on in the writing of the new album. Lyrically it returns to characters from an earlier TW&TB track Wouldn't Women Be Sweet, whilst establishing a new found darkness and righteous anger. Recorded completely live, it's one of two tracks on the album to retain the initial live vocal, and demonstrates nicely the sprawling warehouse barn space of the brewery in which the album was recorded. Lyrically deranged and menacing, the narrative centers round the escape of the protagonist from a basement leaving, 'the bodies and the bones'. The track charts the escape from a demented and dependent relationship. Signaled by a single hit to the bell of a ride cymbal, the instrumental build at the end of the track remains one of our highlights to record.

My Bones
My Bones started life as a pretty slow and morose Leonard Cohen-esque demo...it was a lot lower too which made it very difficult to sing but once we got it into practice, it sped up a bit. David's drumming is ace on this, and he did 3 drum overdubs in the end with extra kicks and cymbal stands layering up an awesome rhythm track.

Neckbrace (Big Wave)
Written early on in the conception of the new record, and greatly inspired by the Jenny & Johnny song of a similar name, Big Wave signaled an early intention on to write more concise and direct songs. Long term infatuations with Tom Petty, Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, Rivers Cuomo, and Lou Reed encouraged a lyrical melancholy whilst remaining up-tempo. This is exemplified in the chorus with the line, 'Sadness like a ten ton weight'. It also focuses on lush vocal harmonies in the chorus similar to that of Too Young, Teenage Blood and Like You.

Like You
Written in the midst of a long term infatuation with Dye It Blonde, Smith Westerns, and Father Son Holy Ghost by Girls, Like You is the most overt wandering into the world of American soft rock on the album. Years of listening to Bandwagonesque and Grand Prix also took their toll, and the song came quickly in a melancholic rush of euphoric guitar pop.

There's A Stranger
Performed solo acoustic and recorded in a single take, There's A Stranger acts as a firebreak on the record. At two minutes long, it's a starkly emotional and frank moment of melancholic clarity leading the album into its final throws.

Summer Drive
Summer Drive is a Radiohead come Ryan Adams inspired 7-string bum-out-drone. Lyrically inspired by Loaded album by The Velvet Underground, and signaling an added vocal focus to the end of the record, the backing vocals of Fiona Keeler add a new texture to the record, as well as the end track Emily. It also marks a shift lyrically in the album, as the lyrics take a more outward and hopeful turn.

Emily
The last track on the album, the narrative details a young boy who goes to his village dance and gets asked to dance by a girl he swears he's always loved. The album ends with a euphoric moment of optimism, love and hope, and ends with the 'rolling credits' outro of the mantra, 'Emily'. The moment he has dreamed off moves in slow motion as their eyes meet in the disco ball light of the dance hall, 'Fairy lights in my head, and diamonds in your eyes'.

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http://tomwilliamsandtheboat.spinshop.com/
www.tomwilliamsandtheboat.co.uk
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/tomwilliamsandtheboat

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