Willow Tree - Tom Speight
Shortly after the start of a very promising musical career working with Mumford & Sons and Travis, our LCM featured artist today Tom Speight was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Tom was forced to take a two-year break, following emergency surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation process for the condition that could have killed him and his career. We are delighted to report that Tom has made a remarkable recovery both personally and musically. He was one of stars of last weekend's Music Maker's festival along with his bandmates Lydia Clowes and Tommy Ashby, so we thought we would share some of his excellent music with you. Our choice for LCM #TrackOfTheDay is the beautiful and heartfelt title track from his 'Willow Tree' EP released back in March. Tom is joined on the song by the equally very talented Jessica Staveley Taylor from 'The Staves'. 'Willow Tree' was the final installment of a quartet of EP's he released through 2016 and into early 2017. Tom has a wonderfully pure and rich vocal and with the feel of Tom's music, it reminds us a little of another fantastic singer-songwriter Al Lewis on his 'Battles' album.
Discussing the song, Tom says: "We recorded around 11pm… all huddled around playing live next to each other. There was something really special about it because it felt so human. I feel like Willow Tree is my least comprised recording to date because of they way we tracked it."
This is one of four videos that have been directed and produced by JP Davidson (Young Fathers) for Tom, the others are 'Little Love', 'Falling' (ft. Rachel Sermanni) and 'Love'. This video features subtle references to the previous videos and songs through Polaroid pictures and other objects that are featured. Tom himself is a keen photographer and likes to make his own album and single artwork. For this video alone, he took more than 100 photos, which were given away with the deluxe CD edition of 'Willow Tree'.
Tom's music takes the best elements of folk and pop music and puts them together to create a raw and infectious sound. 'Willow Tree' is a wonderful example of this. It is a melodic track, which has a haunting guitar riff accompanied by ethereal keys and strings as the backdrop for Tom's distinctive vocals. The addition of Jessica Staveley-Taylor creates some great harmonies.
Tom is set to release another quartet of EP’s in 2017 & 2018, the first of which is 'My My My released at the end of July, the 2nd and 3rd are due in the Autumn of 2017 and early 2018.
2017 has also seen Tom signed to Kobalt (recording) and Cooking Vinyl (publishing). Radio 2 playlist support continues and Tom has reached an amazing 10m streams on Spotify.
Please catch Tom and the band live if you can. Highly recommended.