Tom Snowdon’s Lonely Tree is vast, spectacular, isolated and stark

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Tom Snowdon’s Lonely Tree is vast, spectacular, isolated and stark

Tom Snowdon Lonely Tree review

Current obsession alert!

The artwork photographs for Tom Snowdon’s debut album were taken on Western Arrernte Country, Mparntwe/Alice Spring – where he grew up – and the cover pic is like an Australian-landscape version of Six Feet Under’s lone-tree-on-a-hillside opening credits image. Vast, spectacular, isolated, boundless and sometimes stark – Snowdon’s otherworldly vocal performances capture the landscape of his home; we feel every fly bite and sunkissed dream he describes throughout Lonely Tree.

Snowdon almost sounds like a higher being when he sings (see: latest single Nora Creina). Just before Lose My Body’s one-and-a-half-minute mark, his sudden, intense, guttural delivery (“When I start to lo-o-ose my body…”) is followed by a chuffed “WOO!”, which basically read my mind.

“‘Cause every minute you’re not here/ I just see how I’m lost/ And everyone goes on like you’re still here…” – the languorous Beta Drug is so exquisitely crestfallen we legit needed to press pause for a minute to regroup.

Elsewhere: True Crime aches with longing; Snowdon scales lofty, boy-soprano heights during Empty Start’s choruses; and piano delicately cradles What I Hide, the lamenting closer.

Snowdon has admitted he felt unmoored following the dissolution of his awesome previous musical projects, Lowlakes and No Mono. Maybe he needed to break away from the known and go it alone to unlock his full creative potential? And, yes, he’s well aware that recruiting his No Mono bandmate Tom Iansek (Big Scary, #1 Dads) to produce Lonely Tree “has a poetic neatness to it”.

At first Snowdon gave us Anohni vibes, but now we’re thinking you should file Lonely Tree next to Ásgeir.