Catching Up With: Tom Featherstone

We covered Tom Featherstone when he dropped Young a few weeks ago, and we decided to catch up with him. With a shiny new release titled 'Taking On Water', we can hear references to Bon Iver's self titled 2011 record with it's sparse and muted sax, before it comes to fore just shy of the 3 minute mark.

Let's find out what it's all about shall we, as well as chatting all things isolation and Tesco:

Tell us about your new single? 

I wrote it about a year ago when I was just feeling a little burnt out and run down. This imagery of a damaged ship in deep water came to mind and it just opened up so much of what I was feeling at the time. I love it as it wasn’t written about a particular breakup or event but I’ve been able to sing it over all of these things I’ve gone through or am still going through - like when I feel my music isn’t progressing, relational breakdowns or even just times of anxiety with no clear cause.

Whilst that makes it sound like a real hopeless song and that I’m maybe a bit too in my feelings, I think it’s important that we’re honest with ourselves with how we’re feeling and even being able to hold our hands up and say we’re not coping well at times. The bridge has loads of imagery of being out in waters that are ‘too deep’ or the feeling of ‘bursting at the seams’ and so when this is recognised, you can retreat, rest and re-evaluate.

What inspired its sound?

A whole bunch of stuff – the verses have a lot of John Mayer influences to them but then the chorus has more of a relevant pop feel to them; I’d been listening to a lot of NAO and Maggie Rogers at the time and that melody just came out of surrounding myself with their work.

When we got to producing the song – it had been about 6 months since it had been written and I found myself sitting with Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ and a lot of Bon Iver whilst working out how I wanted the track to sound. So ended up throwing loads of ideas from those guys at my producer, Nicholas Alexander, and he did his thing and I think the results show particularly in that bridge – it’s still very much its own thing, and keeps in with the previous singles I released but it just opens a new direction of where I could go to explore my sound.

Given the current climate, how important is music right now?

I think with all that’s been going on it’s become so clear how important art and community is. I think it had all been taken for granted that gigs, recording sessions and even rehearsals were going to be a constant and now they’ve gone I think even for those that don’t perform it shows. I can’t wait to play for people again – face to face, not screen to screen.

Give us a message for anybody who is struggling with isolation!

What’s been taken away and what are you left with for now? Enjoy those things as much as you can and look forward to the other things. It’s for a long time, not forever xx

Other than your own, what’s your favourite track right now?

That’s tough, I’ve been loving listening to a lot of Bon Iver concerts on Youtube (which is pretty sad) but at the moment ‘Garden Song’ by Phoebe Bridgers has been ringing round my head all day whilst working at Tesco or writing essays – just love the song writing and production by her and Ethan Gruska.