NEWS: Tom Emlyn shares video for ‘Broken Mirror’ and announces album and tour
Swansea-born songwriter Tom Emlyn vividly illustrates why he is one of the most prolific and inventive emerging songwriters in Wales, with his new album Return Journey Revisited: Scaredycat Vol 15 released on the 5th of May. Recorded in 2018 and mastered by Charlie Francis (R.E.M., Pixies). A treasure trove of recordings dating back to 2016, 2017, and 2018, these songs offer a window into the sheer scope of Emlyn’s songwriting talent, his captivating songs uniquely exploring the particularity and peculiarity of human experience.
Featuring his gorgeous recent singles ‘Broken Mirror’ – a heartfelt and poetic ballad of lost love, a semi-fictional ballad set against the backdrop of the Welsh landscape with a heavy dose of irony and imagism. He sings,
‘And beauty is a curse/ But ugliness is worse/And loneliness is always,” sighs Emlyn bittersweetly on this wistful poetic song rich with detail, as spindly guitars, waltzing fiddles and harps, orbiting around his tender vocals. Beguiling and anthemic, introspective yet universal ‘Broken Mirror’ speaks to the human experience of lost love. Watch the video here:
The album also contains, ‘Like a Cigarette’ inspired by his days busking outside a cafe in Frankfurt acting as a living and breathing earworm that charts his travels around Europe and Germany in 2017. Plus forthcoming third single ‘It Doesn’t Bother Me’. Compared to Bob Dylan or Elliott Smith, Tom Emlyn’s sound, while rooted in garage rock, is tinged with psychedelia, folk, jazz, and blues overtones – including a recent adoption of the harmonica as a lead instrument.
Tom explains “Abandoned work is a normal part of the music-making process, but I felt these songs deserved a second chance. I also wanted to release it as a (small) protest against certain smoke-and-mirrors aspects of the music industry. People will tell you to wait and wait, hold back all of your material for the “right time”. I can’t do that anymore; for me, a song is only new when it’s just been written, although it can be remade in live performance. I find it quite agonising to sit on this material for so many years. I’ll be thirty in 2023. That’s why I want to get this sizeable backlog of unheard material out there, so I can move on to new things, and that’s why this is the third album I’ve released in a year.”
“There were many people involved in these tracks – different engineers, studios, producers, and musicians in Swansea and Cardiff. I think the album has a unified feel despite being a bunch of stuff that was recorded in various studios and spaces, before being rescued from the cutting-room floor. It’s a bit of a lighter, ironic affair, full of magic realism and surreal images of the natural world, half-acoustic and half-electric, with an eclectic, eccentric, sprawling feel. Scraped from the bottom of a very deep barrel – but somehow holding together.”
Tom Emlyn crafts honest, swirling evocative songs; tall tales, and dark jokes that cut straight to the bone. His current solo work maps an alternative South Walian landscape, a hallucinated community drawn from psychogeography and local history. Written on foot and by bus, his observational, poetic lyrics and simple 60s-folk-influenced melodies explore what it means to belong to a place – the bitterness, the love and the humour. “The truth is, all of my music is one long song – constantly flowing from inner worlds and mysterious, unknown places.” He reveals “Songwriting is like a diary for me, and it’s time to share Return Journey Revisited: Scaredycat Vol 1. with you. It might be a slightly imperfect document, but I think it’s all the better for it.”
In summer 2022, Tom released his debut solo album ‘News From Nowhere’, a bittersweet love letter to his hometown of Swansea, described by Adam Walton (BBC Radio Wales) as a record of “undoubted brilliance, eloquence and energy”. It has been positively received, with airplay and support from Radio Wales, BBC Horizons, R.E.P.E.A.T. fanzine, God Is In The TV, and Joyzine, among others. Tom’s second album ‘I’ve Seen You In Town’ followed hot on the heels of the first – a more mellow, acoustic affair which was also well received. He also released the ‘Scounger EP’ on Bandcamp this February. He is currently promoting these records with intimately explosive solo and band performances across Wales and beyond, with a string of releases planned for 2023.
April 22nd – The Moon, Cardiff
May 4th-6th – Focus Wales, Wrexham 12th – Dyddiau Du, Cardiff (solo to promote new album) 20th – Second 45 record shop Llanelli (solo to promote new album) 27th- in it together festival Margam
June 16th – Cwrw, Camarthen 17th – Cwrw (solo record shop in-store to promote new album) 17th June – Elysium, Swansea (to promote new album)
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.
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