I didn’t think Tom Misch had this in him. It was only four months ago that I was crushing hard on ‘Journey‘, the first I’d heard from the 19-year-old Londoner, and deeply impressed by the way he seemed to marshal an astounding array of parts to make for a beautiful sum. ‘Journey’, back then, struck me for its effortless cool but with the recent release of ‘On My Mind’ (available free via Misch’s Soundcloud), it now appears something of an entree, an introduction to Misch’s skills as a jazz guitarist and producer but moreover, a brief exercise in atmosphere and a taster of what was to come.
Perhaps the degree to which I vibed with ‘Journey’ should have been a hint at the surprises Misch had in store but it genuinely seemed as though the low-key lounge riff of that track was what Misch was going to be known for. During the early stages of a budding musical career, it is unusual to so quickly and effectively change tack. If ‘Journey’ was Misch coasting in third, ‘On My Mind’ sees the talented youngster hitting Top Gear. Not unlike the namesake TV program, Misch has again proved that slick production is something he wants to be synonymous with. From the opening, lo-fi transition into the beat to the manipulation of the sample at the heart of the piece, those production credentials are never really at issue.
But apart from stellar beat-making and an awareness of tone and mood across tracks that I haven’t witnessed in a while, ‘On My Mind’ goes further to demonstrate Misch’s vocal chops (slick as – a highly unusual trait for a bedroom producer) and his ability to take RnB, electronic, guitar and jazz leanings and push it all into the Play Doh spaghetti machine that is his head and come out with this on his mind. As far as lyrical content and later dynamism go, the track is not exactly groundbreaking but it is the time and effort Misch has evidently poured into getting the foundations just so that makes this such a joy to listen to. I would listen to an album of material just like this for days on end. Masterfully cool.
Tom Misch – On My Mind