Tom Walker has just released his highly anticipated debut album What A Time To Be Alive, it comes on the back of the massive success of his hit single “Leave The Light On”, which hit the top 10 in UK official charts last year, and stayed in the charts for 48 weeks. Tom’s success has been further reflected through his winnings of Best British Breakthrough Act at the BRIT awards earlier this year.
Tom is a Scottish singer and songwriter, who has always had a passion for music and has been pursuing music since studying songwriting at London’s College of Contemporary Music. He officially released his first single titled “Fly Away With Me” in 2016, and ever since then, has been working hard to finish this album to finally achieving the recognition he deserves as he moves into mainstream.
What A Time To Be Alive, which debuted as the #1 album in the country, shows his optimism and prosperity for the future. His achievements as an emerging artist allow a path of endless opportunities for him. His album is a story reflected in songs about his relationships, and the highs and lows of experiences throughout his life that carve his identity and prove his worthy success.
“Just You And I” is an emotive and gentle song on the album, about Tom and his fiancé during their long-distance relationship, as revealed in a recent interview. He sings about their struggles and how a lack of physical connection can cause a strain on a relationship, however it is euphoria once reunited. It emphasises on the strength love can give you, focusing on the spiritual bond between two people and how that can be a motivation and drive, which he feels has enabled his success.
The lyrics of the song, such as “This year’s been hard for us no doubt let’s raise a glass to a better one and all the things that we’ve overcome are bring home to us ’cause Me and you, we can hold this out”, not only reinforce his expression of the elevations and depressions of long distance relationships, but also his hope and optimism of having a new life together, especially as he is now engaged to her.
The song “Fade Away” is prominently based around betrayal and taking advantage of love. Tom’s infatuation with love made him blind to the situation he was in, being manipulated due to his vulnerability of being solely in love. Within the song, Tom talks about a real-life story, of a breakup he went through when he was younger, and how he broke up with her because of betrayal.
Speaking about the track in the album’s editors’ notes on iTunes, he talks about how he was with a girl for a few years and the relationship ended “very abruptly and sourly”. Tom asserts that talking about these situations, helps draw away from the illusion of love, it can be seen as a warning that love can be damaging as well as beautiful due to the expectation of perfection which follows in the pursuit of naïve love.
A simple reminder of the need to be careful and not entirely blind when it comes to falling in love. Also most importantly, Tom is sharing his journey and experiences, how he will never fall again for someone like her, and how he overcame such a devastating time of his life which we must admire him for.
“Blessings” particularly stands out to me within the album, it focuses on Tom’s humble upbringing and better understanding of the world as he rises with fame, conveying that he will always cherish and remember his past growing up in Manchester which adds to his charm of a normalised man.
His background is an inspiration to young musicians who are struggling to get recognition, giving hope and taking pressure off, that it’s not all hard work, and that having fun and embracing life’s journey is just as important. It’s a heart-warming song which reminisces in his nostalgia of his youth. Dominated with good times shared and memories made, Tom’s “Blessings” is a reminder of being thankful for what we have and the escapism from all the negatives within the world.
Tom walker is an inspiration to young artists of the future. Expressing the hope and possibilities of what can happen with hard work and faith that everything will work out. Tom Walker’s debut album What A Time To Be Alive is out now via Relentless/Sony Records, purchase it on iTunes here, and stream it below.
Words by Abbie Hewer