All posts tagged Dean Blunt

Tom Hardwick-Allan – Snakes Fucking

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A rare pink meadow grasshopper was recently spotted in inner-city Salford by Dr Luke Blazejewski, an independent film-maker and urban wildlife specialist. I can only imagine the excitement he must have felt that day, knowing it’s discovery could be an important piece in understanding, documenting and protecting our environment. It gives us a fascinating insight into how, when left alone, a small ecosystem can be a breeding ground for life at it’s most magical and unique.

When I think about it, what Dr Luke and I do isn’t all that different. For the past 8 years, I’ve tried to document Manchester’s music scene, with it’s sprawling diversity, hidden secrets and ever-changing landscape. Undoubtedly a new name to most, Tom Hardwick-Allan is my latest find, every bit as beautiful as a rare pink grasshopper. From the early raw bedroom demo’s of ‘Li’ and ‘Unwritten Confession 2’, where Tom’s baritone vocal crackles and glows into near oblivion, to his more recent experiments with drone and industrial noise on ‘Cold Clear Sky’ and ‘When You Die I’ll Think Of You As The Sky’; it’s clear to me that there is something special at work here. Still only a teenager, and at times bringing to mind Dean Blunt at his most understated and emotive, these developing ideas are fragmented but undeniably affecting.

Snakes Fucking‘ is a bleak but darkly euphoric introduction to his world, with it’s chiming guitars and bellowing trombone, seemingly unsure of itself but unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Using google translate to dehumanise his voice, the unnatural patterns of speech are at odds with the track’s lyrical content, which reveal a painfully intimate cry for help. All too aware of it’s contradictory nature, it’s hard not to find yourself disappearing into Hardwick-Allan’s lonely post-modern depths with relative ease. The video only enhances this experience further, with it’s minimalist and clinical grey room, in stark contrast to the private self-reflection on offer. As the track progresses, a Pinocchio-esque long nose is revealed, perhaps hinting that the lines between the real and the unreal are often closer than you think.

Tom Hardwick-Allan releases debut EP ‘When Waiting’ in August via Tru Luv https://truluv.bandcamp.com/

Photograph by Hanrossta
https://www.facebook.com/hanrossta

Tom Hardwick Allan – Cold Clear Sky

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The vast majority of prediction lists are predictable in themselves, dominated by artists with huge marketing campaigns behind them. New music blogs are all too often the same, more concerned with backing a winner (and getting hits) than going against the grain, working harder to find something new and exciting. The blogs I admire have always presented the listener with something a little different.

Right now, Tom Hardwick Allan is something a little different, as exciting to me as a figure like Dean Blunt. His darkness and mystery have much appeal, as does his youth. He is at times a difficult listen and however beautiful and fucking brilliant I think he is, his music is always going to be a hard sell to your average listener.

Cold Clear Sky displays an array of textured sounds, from the industrial and the eerie, to the warmth of recorded chattering at a party. They build into a rich and deeply profound noise, his deeply emotive baritone voice balanced within, and each word with the weight of the world behind it. Often his voice remains in the background of his compositions, but here it is starting to break out. Hardwick Allan continues to intrigue and amaze me.

Phill Young