Too Slow, the stunning debut LP from Tom Williams & the Boat, has been rocking the airwaves of BBC’s 6 Music across the Atlantic this year via the single “Get Older,” but, for these ears, “Concentrate” makes an even better introduction to the Kent, England outfit. For one, Williams’ knack for melding storytelling — in this case, he convincingly takes the perspective of a high school kid striving to transcend the pressures, anxiety and dangerous potential of the modern world — with repeatedly rewarding melodies is front and center here. In the context of the band’s acoustic-centric Soundlocker Studios take, the tune shines as a great folk-rock narrative, while the violin-laced arrangement recalls, at times, cuts off one of my favorite storytelling records, Bob Dylan’s Desire. Williams and friends aren’t approaching subjects as specific as “Hurricane” or “Joey” here (their angsty alt-pop sensibilities are closer to the Arctic Monkeys, I’d say), but here lies plenty of promise that an epic piece like those is well within their grasp.
Check out our premiere of their new live video below:
They also performed the song “24” here.