[sic] Magazine

Thom Stone – Heart & Bones

Ok it’s halfway through 2009 and Thom Stone has 2 back-to-back EPs out. He also has a track on the TV show Inbetweeners. But who is Thom Stone? Well, he might look young but he’s been on my radar for 3 years and it’s about time the world (E4 notwithstanding) took up the slack. Here’s some snippets from Vault Of Dad writing about his MySpace downloads: –

Sept. 06
“…uniformly excellent, apart from good songs he has the major gift of an instantly recognisable voice. Light but smoke filtered it is a very helpful tool to pull you into the songs. One For The Road is my favourite of the four but consistency is the name of the game. In a world where the painfully bland Jack Johnson can be feted as the new Dylan, Thom Stone could REALLY be the new Donovan and that, by the way, is praise.”

Oct. 06
“Once again the easy charm of the lyric make this the work of a “one to watch”. Frankly, I can’t see why someone who looks and sounds like he does, with obvious songwriting ability isn’t yet snapped up. But then if I was in A&R only good bands would exist and that would be boring.”

Also Oct. 06
“Really, someone must sign him soon”

Jan. 07
“Very good, why unsigned, rhubarb, rhubarb. Getting boring now but really he writes pretty damn good and his voice is particularly appealing and instantly recognizable (buzz, repetition). Love Rat, up now, is another in a long line of wry, smiling acoustic sketches that effortlessly charm. On Fever, still up, he doesn’t stretch far from the blueprint he works from but every one is blessedly angst free with just a wistful longing. For fucks sake sign him so I don’t have to think up new descriptions!”

Now this is not ENTIRELY filler culled from old material. Some of the songs I was listening to appear in new form here, he is not prolific. But if you sense frustration in the last paragraph you’d be right. Bland shit is signed all the time. Thom has something which will emerge over time but equally is fairly obviously ‘there’. It’s difficult to find lots of descriptions for his work because it has a common style. That it’s an original and winning style I hope I was getting across.

This pair of CD EP’s is a fitting end piece to Thom Stone’s activity so far. There’s something reassuring comfortable about Thom’s work. It doesn’t try (yet) to scale the heights of creativity -it’s a mood that he conveys rather than an astonishing story telling exercise. The poetry of the everyday and the pain of the individual, less heal the world – more heal thyself. The model of acoustic tracks doesn’t change vastly between tracks (the odd electric guitar part invades, on End Of he Road for instance it sounds as though it’s providing the counterpoint to show up the anger lacking in Thom’s vocal. He manages to hit emotional truths by not making a song and dance about his loves lost. We are humans after all. We know it hurts – sometimes it helps to rail against the pain, sometimes it helps to hear another human working through his. Lest this make him sound a miserable bastard, the lightness of touch and the feeling he might be working through a bottle of wine as well as his relationship issues keeps it above the wrist cutting water line. This collection consolidates Thom’s strengths and leaves the future open to a more studio-enhanced album with some decent backing. This is his Campfire Tapes; maybe he’ll end up with something like Al Stewart or Kevin Ayres. Hopefully the majors are no more than 3 years behind me – if not I’ve got £50 ready for his Bandstocks.