By Jake Jackson
Tom Hummer is the kind of artist that rewards those of us who are always searching for that hidden, undiscovered gem. His music is infectious and original; haunting, yet inspiring.
His first three albums show his increasing skill as a craftful songwriter, presenting us with tunes unlike much other music I’ve heard before. Hummer accomplishes this by refusing to adhere to any particular structure or sonic motif. His songs build and explode in both dynamics and ideas while covering a variety of genres: rock, folk, industrial, heavy metal, singer-songwriter, post-rock, to name a few. And yet, Hummer is able to deliver his sprawling epics via cohesive, themed listening experiences. Lyrics and wordplay not only add intrigue to Tom’s music, but they also serve as a device that ties everything together by establishing common themes and concepts that eat at our fundamental understanding of society and the world we live in.
Dystopian Blues is the enigma in Hummer’s growing discography. Gone are the witty lyrics and heartfelt vocal melodies; in their place are mountainous layers of organic and synthetic instrumentation. In true post-rock fashion, Dystopian Blues consists of five expansive tracks that create a soundtrack for a theoretical sci-fi saga. The music on this record is starkly unique, and has the uncanny ability of conveying complex human emotion through melodic, yet blisteringly mechanic instrumentation. Though the album is slightly under 40 minutes in length, Hummer leaves us feeling as if we just completed a rigorous, soul-stretching journey. Few records are able to reach inside our hearts and minds and take us somewhere completely special and personal, allowing us to see the world from a different context. Dystopian Blues is that caliber of a record.
Tom’s fourth record, Dystopian Blues, comes out next Friday, May 6th, 2016. Listen to the full album below, one week early.
- “The Future”
- ‘All the Lights are Fluorescent”
- “Dream Theme”
- “Water Reprise”