Showcase: Tom Milsom
Published on July 9th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Tom Milsom’s swoonsome recent single “Take Me Out” went down a storm at Rocksucker HQ – fans of Animal Collective, Deerhunter, The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala should ruddy well investigate – so we fired him over some questions to find out more…
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
I define my music as PSYCH-POP if people ask, it’s basically just weird interesting sorta cute electroacoustic music? Yeah.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
I live in East London and I record in my bedroom, which is a Gordian tangle of fairy lights and cables.
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
Nah man, labels are crazy. I’ve been involved with them before, through my online exposure, but it’s a super weird scene. You’re like going to parties where there’s free food and drink and it’s all really expensive looking but you’re stuffing your face ’cause you don’t have enough money to live cause you’re not the one selling your music any more.
You’re living from swanky networking party to swanky networking party. I can imagine being involved with a label from an executive position would be a bit more typical big company deal, but as an artist, working with a corporate environment like that is surreal.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
I’m working on an album at the moment called Organs! It’s about our relationships with our bodies, how we interact with other people… this real Kurt Vonnegut sci-fi type obsession with the organic reality of our corporeal form. And then through that talking about depression and elation and how your body affects your brain and vice versa.
It’s really musically adventurous, it’s taken me two years to record it but it’s nearly done and should be out in September!
Where can we hear your music online?
Best place is probably my bandcamp: tommilsom.bandcamp.com
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
Sometimes you play shows where everyone in the audience is there to see you and they’re completely psyched, and my Barfly show last year was like that. Everyone was contributing to this homogeneous aura of excitement and euphoria in the room and it amplified all our emotions.
I’m playing with Amanda Palmer at the Roundhouse in a few days, and that’s gonna be a less instantly enthusiastic crowd I think but i’m intensely excited to play my stuff to new people, it’s such a unique and fulfilling thrill.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
Yeah, I’m playing the Summer In The City warm-up UK tour for most of their dates (check the site) and I’m playing at the last stop of the Exceptionally Ordinary tour in Anaheim at the start of August as well as hopefully some house shows around NYC – it’s all super ad hoc at the moment, but I guess playing live always is!
That’s the magic of it innit, like going to someone’s house or a park or a big venue and creating something special.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Yeah, always a shout out to my friend Elaiza who lives in NY and records mystical whispermusic as Whatever, Dad (whateverdad.bandcamp.com) and also my friend Max Tundra who makes some of the most charming, imaginative music of ALL TIME.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Man, entire works! What a cool flavour to a standard question! Um ok, I’m going for bands that have a broad timbral range in their back catalog, and also have a substantial back catalog.
So… obviously The Beatles, and then probably Deerhoof aaaannndddd… I want something more ambient, what artists have released an ambient record as well as more vibrant stuff? OH, Brian Eno!
Tom Milsom, thank you.