Tom A Smith: Dragonfly – single review
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Tom A Smith DragonflyTom A Smith: Dragonfly

TYM Recordings 

Download | Streaming

Out 21st January

17 year old Tom A Smith is without doubt the hottest thing to come out of Sunderland since Niall Quinn’s Disco Pants or, the Lauren Lavern fronted Kenicke.

The youngster will be familiar to many after first posting covers of tracks by bands such as New Order and Inspiral Carpets on Facebook as far back as 2016 and also supporting the likes of James and The Charlatans (to name but two)

The veteran (well he has been performing for 9 years!) has got around to announcing his debut EP, EP1, to be released on 25th February; before then he releases the blistering new single, Dragonfly on January 21st; following on from the euphoric single Wolves which came out in November.

Despite his young age Tom has already achieved more than most artists do in a lifetime. He played his first ever gig aged just eight, supporting local psychedelic rockers Detroit Social Club at legendary Newcastle venue The Cluny, performed at Glastonbury before he was even in secondary school and Tim Burgess handpicked him to play his stage at Kendal Calling, making him the festival’s youngest ever performer. LTW’s reviews editor and the man with his AF finger on the pulse Wayne Carey even wrote about him back in 2018!

When Covid hit at the start of 2020, Tom spent lockdown honing his craft and writing songs constantly; setting himself a challenge of writing a song a day, in as many styles and genres as he could think of. He says, “at the start of 2020 I probably had about eleven songs, but then I thought, ‘OK, right, I’m really going to go for it now…’ I spent seven hours a day every day working on and recording music,” he says. “I think I’ve got about nine albums’ worth of songs now!”

Recorded as restrictions eased with Nothing But Thieves /The Snuts / Sea Girls producer Larry Hibbitt the challenge wasn’t coming up with great songs to lay down, it was trying to pick which great songs to include. “It was a tough one,” he says of the process of whittling that wealth of material down to just five songs. “I wanted it to be a statement. It shows the versatility of what I’ve done and demonstrates the different styles that I can do.”

Debut single Wolves was a twisted, anthemic rush of indie rock, envoking and influenced by New Order, The Cure and Echo And the Bunnymen. On Dragonfly he delves deeper. The dense, shadowy snarl; a pounding, electrifying plea for escape. It’s a slow-stalking hit with gigantic riffs and blood-raw emotions hitting you through a filter of fuzztone digital growls.

As well as the singles, the EP also includes Convince Yourself is a dirty bluesy piece delivered with a touch of Alex Turner whereas Boltcutters and Crucify Me show another side of the singer songwriter. Boltcutters is a love song, stripped back to the bone with little more that Smith’s lilting melody and deft fingerpicking; while Crucify Me, an intimate home recorded demo leaves you wanting more.

“I cannot wait for this to be out,” enthuses the Mackey teen, “obviously I’ve been gigging for years but I am completely ready for it. I’m ready to go.”

And we are ready to listen

Tom A. Smith will be performing live at

23rd Jan – Birmingham, The Sunflower Lounge – Supporting M60
26th Jan – London, Colours – Supporting KEG @ Abbie McCarthy’s Good Karma Club
16th Apr – Stockton, Stockton Calling Festival
28th May – Warrington, Neighbourhood Weekender
4th Jun – Birmingham, Sonic Wave Festival
18th Jun – Czech Rep, Rock For People Festival

To discover more about the talented young Mackem visit FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM or TWITTER

Tom A Smith Dragonfly

All words by Iain Key. See his Author Profile here author’s archive or on Twitter as @iainkey.


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