With a voice “hewn out of rock and soaked in brandy and cigarettes,” a finger-picking guitar prowess, and a growing recognition as singer-songwriter, Tom Moriarty releases his third album The Shore in February 2017.
Written in the shadow of a life-changing accident, The Shore was recorded in a tiny wood-vaulted stone church in a small hilltop town in France, in front of a live audience. Its ten songs, recorded with only his acoustic guitar, mark a new stripped-back chapter in his music – and his life.
Having left Broken Britain 18 months ago for a solitary existence in the wilds of southern France, living halfway between the mountains and the coast, these songs were inspired by his growing sense of consternation at world events as he made a slow recovery.
“I am a different man now”, he says. “As I recovered, my thoughts became clear. Everything came sharply into focus. At the same time, the world seemed to be spiralling out of control.” These songs came to him on long walks through the forests around his new home with his devoted dog Watson, as he re-evaluated his life – and the world we live in. As such Tom is truly a singer of our times.
“It’s called The Shore because, as a race, we now stand on the shore looking out over an undiscovered ocean,” explains Tom. “It’s about what we do next; what kind of society we are. Do we venture out into the unknown, or do we stay on the shore? Some would have us retreat: this is a crucial time.
“In another sense, it’s about my personal journey to make it to the shore. And about what we all need to survive: resistance and resilience, courage and compassion, revolution and rebellion – and, above all, love.”
These are songs of anger and sadness, but ultimately of defiance and hope, exemplified by the closing number, ‘Us Against The World’. Says Tom: “That one’s the most important to me. It’s not a song, it’s a hymn. A hymn for our planet, for our future.”
Tom Moriarty – Biography
Tom Moriarty released his critically acclaimed debut album Fire In The Doll’s House in 2012. Its follow-up The Road reinforced his place as a protest singer for the 21st century and earned praise from critics and musicians alike, including a prized endorsement from rock royalty David Crosby.
In January 2017 the British singer-songwriter will release his third album The Shore. A solo acoustic live album, it was recorded in the tiny wood-vaulted chapel of a small hilltop village in France where Tom has lived since leaving London in June 2016 following a life-changing accident.
Some of its songs were written in France, as he recovered, while others have been with Tom for a little longer. All of them confirm a rare talent as a classic singer-songwriter, those songs delivered in a distinctive vocal style somewhere between the rage of Eddie Vedder and the soul of Ray Lamontagne.
As warm and oaky as the rich red wines of his new French home, his smoky vocal growl blends rage with sensitivity: it roars but also whispers, it growls and soothes, redolent of cigarettes and alcohol and a lifetime of pain.
With its raw acoustic approach, The Shore strips Tom’s music back to its essence: his voice and his intricate finger-picking acoustic guitar playing, influenced by all the greats whose music he has absorbed over the years.
There are echoes of John Martyn and Richard Thompson, of Bob Dylan and Bert Jansch, and in those lyrics the rebel spirit of Woody Guthrie and Joe Strummer. In his songs Tom tells beautiful stories, whether tales of love or war, hope or injustice, loss or victory, a singer of our times.
As in all his work, the message stands side by side with the music, railing against a political establishment more disconnected from the people than ever. “These songs are about resistance, resilience, courage. About people just getting through the day, dealing with their personal hardships.
“It’s about love, about looking out for each other in tough times, whether it’s a friend or a stranger somewhere in our global community. It’s about compassion, which is being gleefully eroded by our so-called leaders as they play their silly games. And it’s about revolution: a revolution in the way we see ourselves, a shared realisation that we are better than those few in power would have us believe.”
Following the release of The Shore Tom will be touring the UK in Spring 2017 but swiftly dismisses any suggestion of returning to London: “Why would I return? London’s burning.”
Artist’s website: www.tommoriarty.co.uk
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