Tom Misch - 'Geography' (Album Review)

Remember the blue-eyed boy head-nodding like a champ alongside FKJ on “Losing My Way”? Remember the vibe, the rhythm, the smooth energy, that beautiful sound?  Well, that sound is back

Master beat-maker, producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer Tom Misch released his debut album, Geography, earlier this year, under the label Beyond The Groove 4. 

Before Paris” opens the 13-track work with some groovy drum and bass, and bright guitar riffing. It’s RnB-meets-funk that will instantly give you warm summer vibes.

Lost In Paris”, the most popular song from the album, comes next, almost like a sequel. And while it may seem like a break-up song, the track is literally, as Misch himself tweeted, “about my hard-drive that I lost in Paris that had a lot of new music on it.”

Just when you thought things couldn’t get more refreshing, you’ll discover Misch’s collaboration with American hip-hop trio De La Soul, “It Runs Through Me.” Some Bossa Nova guitar and carefree, easy lyrics make this track, hands down, the highlight of the 13-track effort. The bass-line does the trick.

Dominated mainly by his guitar, drums and synths, a few of the tracks present instances of modernized strings and horns that are both pleasant and welcome. Needless to say, Misch is a prodigy with the guitar. He’s mentioned publicly that John Mayer is one of his main inspirations, but we see more apparent parallels between him and fellow Londoner Lianne La Havas. For proof, just listen to his cover of Man Like You‘ on the album, and then compare it with any Lianne record.

The outro track, “We’ve Come So Far” is like a ‘thank you – takes a bow and goodbye’ gesture by Misch as the four words in the song reverberate with progressive but minimal instrumentation. As the album reaches its culmination, you’ll probably be reminded of a long-overdue creative task… at least, that’s what happened to me!  Regardless, one thing that’s certain is that you’ll either replay the album all over again, or share it with the first person you see.

It seems uncomfortable to place Misch within a genre (or even two), given his jazz guitar upbringing and early career as a beat-maker. Even labelling the tracks as “party” or “chill” would be restrictive, with Misch’s simple yet crisp vocal tone complementing the music itself. Geography is a retro-tinged blend of easy listening and eclectic contemporary electronica.

The album is everything that modern day music is about, borrowing styles from jazz, funk and hip-hop alike. Somewhere through the record, you’ll realize how much you’ve ‘Misched’ sounds from yesteryear — don’t be surprised if you find yourself delving into some good old Stevie or James Brown. A 90-second cover of the classic “Isn’t She Lovely” will only make you wish Misch had recreated the entire song; call it condensed genius.  

Long story short: being handed the aux cable at a house party is a high-pressure responsibility. But Geography gives you plenty of excellent dance tunes that should be able to win over most crowds, including “Lost In Paris”, “South Of The River” and “Disco Yes.” So why not add them to your party playlist, right away?

Tags : #Album Review #Tom Misch

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