“‘Health Scare’ is not about COVID 19!” Tom assures us, having written the song long before the virus was a thing, despite its timely pertinence now. “It’s a jumble of memories, like most of my songs. I think I was cycling with my Dad, and in that moment I felt like I was stronger than him, like a generational baton was being passed. I felt, for a brief, fleeting moment, free from the weight of any expectation or past experience, and that I had the opportunity to reassemble those pieces into a different shape”
As the song builds through a gentle piano refrain and Tom’s heart wrenching vocals, he sings of ignoring the problems which come to us all with age. “The health scare I’m doing my best to ignore, is the existential kind; a fear of what’s locked deep in my DNA. And that in that moment, perched precariously atop a bicycle, I somehow had autonomy over my future. It was not a lasting epiphany…”
The song is accompanied by a unique video, containing illustrations from artist, James Moore. They were originally made into a book to go with the song, but this fell apart in the post so Tom created them into a ‘lockdown video’ instead.
Tom began making music as a teenager, and released a series of records under the moniker of Tom The Lion. He received critical acclaim as well as support from Rough Trade (album of the month), Rob Da Bank on BBC Radio 1 and Simon Raymonde on XFM. The shift to using his own name marks a development of his sound — one he feels is more honest and authentic.
Tom has written, recorded, produced and performed in various guises, alongside a sprawling family of musical friends and collaborators which include the likes of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Jack Savoretti, Lilly Moore, Alberta Cross, Feet, Birdy, Lulu James, Tom Walker, Skunk Anansie, and Albin Lee Meldau.
‘Health Scare’ is the first track to be lifted from a new album; recorded with producer Luke Potashnick, and the first Tom will release under his own name. His songs are often a beautiful meandering journey, bound by his unique vocal style and taking inspiration from a period in his life where he needed to escape the isolation and anxiety he was experiencing following the breakdown of a relationship.
In order to spark inspiration, Tom took to exploring his hometown of London. These benign experiences of museums, parks, buses and trains that were initially acts of distraction eventually began to inform lyrical ideas, becoming canvases on which to tackle subjects that seemed overwhelming in isolation. From this distance, and on this scale, Tom could find ways of reaching into the subjects of love, heartbreak, age and friendship, accessing universal experience through the revelation of tiny, often humorous and deeply personal details.