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Tom Hickox is a singer-songwriter from North London, born in 1981. He is the son of the conductor Richard Hickox. His mother was an orchestral timpanist.
Richard Sidney Hickox, CBE was an English conductor of choral, orchestral and operatic music.
Comparisons of Hickox's music have been made to that of Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Scott Walker and Randy Newman.The Daily Telegraph commended the "depth and intensity" of his voice and music calling him "a true original" and described him as "the most powerful and original lyrical songwriter this country has produced in years". The Sunday Times described Hickox's music "as if from a different planet, and certainly from a different age". Fuse magazine wrote positively of his "outrageously daring lyrics" and the "deathly beauty" of his arrangements.
Leonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality and romantic relationships. Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize.
Thomas Alan Waits is an American singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and actor. Waits' music is characterized by his distinctive deep, gravelly singing voice and lyrics focusing on the underside of U.S. society. During the 1970s, he worked primarily in jazz, but since the 1980s his music has reflected greater influence from blues, vaudeville, and experimental genres.
Scott Walker was an American-born British singer-songwriter, composer and record producer. Walker was known for his distinctive baritone voice and an unorthodox career path which took him from 1960s pop icon to 21st-century avant-garde musician. Walker's success was largely in the United Kingdom, where his first three solo albums reached the top ten. He lived in the UK from 1965 and became a British citizen in 1970.
Hickox is currently[ when? ] signed with publisher Warner/Chappell. In 2011 he soundtracked a Dr Martens advert starring model and actress Agyness Deyn with a version of his song Good Night. The film was the inspiration behind the beginning of Rihanna's We Found Love. His relationship with the brand continued in 2012 and his song The Pretty Pride of Russia was used in a new ad, starring model Alice Dellal. Official videos for The Angel of the North and The Pretty Pride of Russia have been released and appears on Clashmusic. and NME.com. Following the release of his 2014 debut album War, Peace and Diplomacy (Fierce Panda), on 31 March Family Tree/Warner Chappell released Tom Hickox's new album, Monsters in the Deep.
Agyness Deyn is an English model and actress.
Alice Olivia Dellal is a British-Brazilian model.
Monsters in the Deep is a major artistic leap. Both lyrically and musically, the songs see Hickox stretching out and fully availing himself of the possibilities presented by each song. This time around, Hickox held back from making the piano the prominent instrument on the album. Together with his life-long friend and co-producer Chris Hill, he played with different ways of presenting the songs. Time and again, it is an approach that brings out the best in Hickox: the fin de siecle consolation chorus of Collect All The Empties; the keening exhortations of Mannequin Heart which seem to locate an exquisite equidistant point between Tilt-era Scott Walker and a lost David Lynch soundtrack of the same period.
A key objective was to create an album that you could play for the first time and not have any idea what the next song would sound like on the basis of the one before it. As a result of these open-ended sessions, The Plough found its natural place away from the piano, its spare acoustic arrangement leaving a sense of space which echoes its protagonist’s awe at their own insignificance beneath the cosmic canopy. Certainly, it couldn’t be more different to the two songs that sit either side of it: the sybaritic schemer exhorting his companion to come and make a fresh new start in Istanbul; and then, the bright rhythmic rhapsodising of The Dubbing Artist.
Hickox’s fascination with the infinitely complex machinery of the city and our attempts to come to an accommodation with it is also abundant throughout the album – The Fanfare is an apocalyptic two-and-a-half minute exploration of that and of global tensions. And seemingly a world away from the lyrical slide show of that song is Perseus and Lampedusa. In 1972, Randy Newman recorded Sail Away, ostensibly a pretty song about escaping to a better world, but actually written from the perspective of an American slave trader, attempting to lure indigenous Africans onto his ship. In Hickox’s song, the key phrase is also “sail away”, and as with the Newman song, anyone clocking little more than the chorus might be forgiven for thinking they’re listening to a pretty piece of escapism. But, of course, in recent years, the Italian Island of Lampedusa has become known as the destination of the most dangerous route for north African migrants fleeing their own war-torn countries.
Each song on the album is multi-layered. The story is what’s on the surface, but the bit that connects is what underpins the story. Korean Girl In A Waiting Room is really a song about homesickness, written after Hickox witnessed the girl passed out and imagined her waking up surrounded by doctors a million miles from home, and she doesn’t speak English.
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