As an announcement rang through Manchester airport a few weeks ago, it struck me that for all intents and purposes I was now a passenger and that I’d remain so until I passed through the border on the other side. We shed our individual status more often than we realise, we’re patients, employees, customers, students. The individual requirements and responsibilities of each role require a different performance. It’s something Derby upstart Tom John Hall explores on new single ‘Human’, “a song about the tiny performances we put on in our everyday lives, and the nerve-wracking sensation of living in a permanent state of pretending”.
That wracking of the nerves is reflected in the song’s instrumentation; the spine-splitting solos, the frantic, galaxian synths, the hubbub of peripheral external voices that threaten to overpower Hall. Following an intro that recalls early Django Django, a slowly undulating riff comes to the fore, like a snake slithering out of a canyon. Hall regrets “it’s not me that people meet / when they meet me”, eventually declaring “we lie / we lie all the time”. The sheer hysteria that ensues from this point reveals Hall’s penchant for the eccentric, he ploughs a ship through rocky waters, challenging you to stay upright. Though fluid in the day-to-day, his identity as a songwriter is unbreakable, something that won’t bend no matter how great the pressure.
‘Humans’ is the lead single from forthcoming debut ‘My Big Album’, out July 31st via Year of Glad