“Tell A Friend” album launch with Tom O.C Wilson + Eley Williams + Beetles
Tom O.C Wilson is a London-based composer of lovingly crafted, infectiously playful arthouse pop. Tell A Friend, released by Pickled Egg Records on October 23rd, is the first album put out under his own name, but is the culmination of a much longer journey. Previous collections Animation (2009) and The Night Attendant (2014) came out in the guise of Freeze Puppy, a one-man band born from a series of musical experiments conducted in a south Bristol bedroom. Upon moving to London in 2012 to study for a PhD in Composition at Royal Holloway College, Wilson began forging new musical alliances, putting together a four-piece live band, and sketching out his vision of an album that would fuse pristine compositional detail with the exuberant tunefulness that had always defined his music.
The result is Tell A Friend, a frothy, colourful 12-song collection that pushes the raw materials of pop into dazzlingly surprising shapes, from the polyrhythmic fervour of “Give Yourself Some Credit” to the Steve Reich-meets-Motown stomp of “The Ones”. Yet as with similarly cerebrally-minded pop acts such as Field Music, Max Tundra and Dutch Uncles, the intricacy of the music is coupled with an unusually high hooks per-minute quotient — these are songs to sing along to as much as ponder. And the title? After the fictional scenarios of his previous releases, Wilson decided this time around to address each song to a real-life person or place, with the gorgeous complexities of the music complemented by lyrics that explore the individual personality traits that separate us and draw us to one another. By turns joyful, melancholy, disarming and cathartic, Tell A Friend is a celebration of human interaction, brimming over with songs that are as life-affirming as they are inventive.
Eley Williams is a writer and lecturer based in London. Her collection of short stories Attrib. And Other Stories (Influx Press) was chosen by Ali Smith as one of the best debut works of fiction published in 2017. Her collection of poetry Frit was published by Sad Press in July this year, and she is currently co-editor of fiction at 3:AM magazine
Beetles comprise two London based musicians, Laila Woozeer and Tom O.C Wilson. They use the minimum of means – two voices and a single electric guitar – to get the maximum emotional impact from a musical language based around surprising harmonies, pointilist textures and infectious skittering melodies. Important musical influences include Regina Spektor, Kurt Cobain and Lennon and McCartney.
£7 or £15 including “Tell a Friend” vinyl LP.