Tom Hannay brings together his silky, rough-edged guitar sound and raw vocal talent for his debut album ‘The Fire Awaits’. The result is a smooth mix of alternative country and smokey blues. It’s the style of Kurt Vile, the riffs of Gary Clarke Jr, and powerful Chris Cornell-esque vocals all rolled into one laid-backed, riff-fuelled LP.
While this sounds like it shouldn’t work, somehow Hannay not only excels but seems to do it naturally. Hannay is able to weave these sounds with earnest lyrics, creating a genre-bending style that is a masterclass in moderation: It’s bluesy, but not an Englishman ripping off Howlin’ Wolf. It’s alt-country but without ever pretending to have wandered the streets of Nashville. It’s grungey but without the vicious angst.
Hannay’s previous single “The Feeding Hand” dealt with his real-life circumstances of living in a motorhome and touring around his homeland, playing music; and this was followed with his unique version of Ace of Base’s ‘All That She Wants’ à la Chris Isaak. The result is oddly raw and emotive, deep and forceful, the rootsy-surf sound only working because it’s might is matched by the dramatic vocals of Hannay. This offering is another taste of Hannay’s debut album ‘The Fire Awaits’ and is yet another demonstration of his remarkable talent.