Cast your mind (if you dare) back to last summer – when the world went into lockdown and there was a new world order for us all to adjust to. While a great percentage of us went about mastering sourdough or gingerly attempting a new language on Duolingo, Tom Misch – fresh off the release of the Ivor Novello nominated collaborative album “What Kinda Music” with Yussef Dayes which earnt glowing notices in the press and a number 4 spot in the UK album charts – decided instead to do what he does best – to make dreamy, languid music; just him, a guitar, and his iPhone in his garden.
The resultant effect is beautiful and swoonsome, with a sense of easy intimacy hanging over the tracks, which were all (with the exception of “Missing You”) recorded and released on his YouTube channel. Look no further, for instance, than the brilliant collaboration with Brazilian Jazz and Bossa Nova legend Marco Valle on “Parabéns”, for evidence of Misch’s warm and engaging way with a song, even when done remotely. It is a beguiling atmosphere only heightened by the fact that Misch even commissioned an artist he loves, Oliver Macdonald Oulds, to create a hand painted version of one of the scenes from the sessions (‘Cranes in the Sky’) for the album artwork.
Indeed, it is the musical equivalent of a gorgeously languorous stroll under endless blue skies, or laying in the tall grass in the hot sun, something at once gentle yet heady, intoxicating and magical, casting its warm spell over the course of 8 tracks in a stealthy and delicious way. Truly one of the (very) few bright spots to emerge from the summer of 2020, and one to treasure as well.