NOVELTY ISLAND, much like Coral Island but not so much Hilbre Island, though that’s weird in its own way, is part of the mythical archipelago of offshore Liverpudlian islands of the musical mind.
Castaway under a solitary palm on this particular shore, with a whole Bond-villain musical laboratory accessible through a hidden hatch, is the fine baroque-pop songwriter Tom McConnell, who’s dropped a first message in a bottle inviting us, quite simply, to listen, all couched in early Seventies’-style piano power pop, harking back to the wide-eyed freshness of early solo Macca, Emitt Rhodes, a touch of the Big Stars; it’s just about the joys of hearing and being heard, and it’s a joy to hear too.
Multi-instrumentalist Tom, a former resident of Abbey Road itself, no less, from where he obviously dialled into the vibes, is preparing to unveil the first Novelty Island album, How Are You Coping With This Century? later in the summer, from whence the lovely “Listen” is taken.
Tom not only wrote and mixed “Listen”, but was able to call upon himself to step in on piano, bass, drums, guitar and mellotron; Max Verclas brought the brass and Frankie Tibbles stepped up to the backing vocals mic.
Strolling the sun-kissed, traffic-free streets of a lockdown summer, Tom hit a rich vein of creativity and let a dozen songs flow: a dozen ambiguous, smile-wide, escapist, unintended odes to the new (ab)normal.
Novelty Island exists as a complete vision of a world outside the one in which listeners are living, with Tom the sole generalissimo of the project’s musical and visual aesthetic; you’ll find a growing visual estate over on Instagram.
Novelty Island’s “Listen” is out now on all streaming platforms via Think Like A Key Music and is taken from the forthcoming album, How Are You Coping With This Century?
For upcoming release announcements, album pre-orders and to find out first about live dates, connect with Novelty Island online at his official website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and at Bandcamp.