Tom Milsom: Psychedelic Pop To Melt Away The Winter Blues

Tom Milson has just released 'Take Me Out', the first single from his upcoming album, 'Organs'. Here's why it, and he, will blow your mind...
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Tom Milson has just released 'Take Me Out', the first single from his upcoming album, 'Organs'. Here's why it, and he, will blow your mind...

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Tom Milsom’s career as a singer-songwriter, musician, producer, writer and artist, despite its relatively short length, has seen him make incredible strides. He started out as a teenager in his bedroom, writing chirpy indie-pop songs with witty lyrics on his ukulele, as well as making YouTube videos on his channels ‘hexachordal’ and ‘tommilsom’, which ranged from basic updates on his life and career, to full-blown performance art. Despite his more simplistic pop beginnings, the last five years have seen Milsom progress through the worlds of electronica and experimentalism.

Starting in 2010, already with two full-length albums under his belt (2008’s ‘Awkward Ballads For The Easily Pleased’ and 2009’s ‘Painfully Mainstream’), he released a series of EPs entitled Explorers 1 through 6, which confused and amazed his fans in equal measure. His previous albums had been mostly comprised of sweet tales of love, friendship, music and occasionally cats. The Explorers series, however, took Milsom’s writing in an entirely new direction. Explorers 6, for example, contains a six-minute track entitled ‘Lines’ which uses clever metaphors to tell a tale of recovery from a cocaine addiction. You wouldn’t find that on one of his first two albums.

Last year, Milsom gathered together a series of recordings he’d made over the previous months, ranging from full-band pieces with grand arrangements, to simple excerpts of his poetry, and released it under the title ‘Alien Home’. Once again, he confounded people’s expectations, with particularly stunning highlights being the spoken word piece ‘Skin’, telling the tale of his musical progression since 2009, and the mixtape’s final track ‘Alien’, a song which could have been taken from Radiohead’s paranoid electronic magnum opus Kid A, a terrifyingly thundering electronic beat backing Milsom’s breathy, worried-sounding vocals.

While these releases were all incredible in their own right, Milsom has been gradually teasing his third full-length album. He’s been playing the as yet unreleased song ‘Pipes’ at gigs, which seems to be the musical equivalent of some kind of melancholic fusion of The Beatles’ ‘I Am The Walrus’ and the film ‘2001: A Space Oddyssey’. After dropping numerous hints on his Twitter and Tumblr pages, Milsom announced that the first single from his third album ‘Organs’ would be released soon and that it would be entitled ‘Take Me Out’. There was also the implication that it would blow all our collective minds.

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Take Me Out was released today. My mind has been blown. It’s a track that sounds like a hazy summer day, warm and bright and slightly blurred. A reverberating, processed drum beat pulsates along under ethereal, echoey vocals singing about an ‘anxious little fever’, but the track never feels downbeat as Milsom has ‘a way to sweat the sadness out’. Nothing is ever fully in focus on this track, but it never feels wandering or confused. It psychedelically shimmers in and out, relaxing your brain but always keeping you interested.

I’ve been listening to it on repeat since its release a few hours ago, and at some points it’s been difficult to type the words for this article because I’ve been too drawn into the music. It’s nostalgic yet utterly modern at the same time. Imagine The Beach Boys forming a supergroup with The xx, writing songs while sitting by the sea as the sun goes down. It’s sometimes hard to remember that this is just the work of one man.

Organs is set to be fully released this summer, and Take Me Out will probably feel even more appropriate during the heat of those months. But until then, it’s incredibly effective at destroying the gloominess that the end of winter brings. Until it is released, you can keep up with Milsom by following him on his Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube pages. All his previous material is available for purchase and free streaming on his Bandcamp page.

Listen to Take Me Out below, as well as some highlights from Milsom’s earlier music.

Take Me Out:

Song For The Painfully Indie:

 Lines: