Tom Grennan: Lighting Matches review – indie-pop with a side dish of Hozier

Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 05:00


Lighting Matches

Tom Grennan

Insanity Records


Having never thought of himself as a singer until a boozy rendition of The Kooks’ Seaside at a house party during his school years, Tom Grennan’s salty voice may sound seasoned on his debut album Lighting Matches but it’s difficult to distinguish his music from the production line of other wounded, male singer-songwriters filling up the charts right now.

Adopting that bizarre, muffled enunciation that’s worked its way into mainstream pop songs – the kind where the singer’s mouth sounds like it’s trying to prevent vowels from making an escape – the 23-year-old singer from Bedford bares his soul while retaining laddish swagger.

“If it’s cool then it’s cool, won’t f**k around no more,” he promises in a kind act of romance on the jangly Aboard while chastising that same love on the vitriolic but damn catchy Sober.

Cashing in on the daytime radio, indie-pop sound that the likes of George Ezra and Tom Walker dish out on a regular basis, songs such as Little by Little Love and Something in the Water come with a side of Hozier soul.

On Lighting Matches, Grennan may have the voice but he’s yet to find the spark to set him apart from the rest.