Tom Chaplin : The Wave
Good news – Tom Chaplin, the touching and powerful voice from the band Keane, has just released a solo album. Keane is a band from East Sussex (UK) formed in 1995. They achieved international success in 2004 with the amazing album Hopes and Fears (with hits such as Somewhere only we know or Everybody’s changing ). After a great 10 years of success with the band and 4 albums, Tom Chaplin has decided to explore new territories with a solo career. It does not mean that Keane no longer exists though ! It is just a hiatus (we hope !)
Unlike many other artists, there is a real reason behind this solo album. Tom has always been singing songs written by someone else, his band mate, Tim Rice-Oxley. It is the mix of Tom’s beautiful voice and Tim’s fantastic songwriting skills that made the success of Keane. However, since Tom sometimes felt uncomfortable singing someone else’s words and emotions especially before the band became successful, he used to write some songs too.
He also suffered from the discrepancy between his angelic voice and looks and his true self. « I sometimes hated my voice » says Tom. « One the one hand, [my voice] is a beautiful instrument and I am in sole charge of it. But it seems to suggest a kind of pure and angelic quality in me as a person. And there is a real darkness in my soul. » Darkness indeed. Even if it’s hard to believe, Tom suffered from drug addiction. He was admitted to the Priory (a mental health hospital in South West London) in 2006 and made a full recovery until 2013 when he broke from Keane, driven by a desire to write songs again. Despite the excitement having a new project, he lacked inspiration and confidence which lead him to go back to his old habits. “I’d wake up and think, ‘I’m going to be OK today’, but somehow I’d find myself dragged into this unstoppable desire to go and get high. Often it would be when my wife left for work.” He quotes his own lyric: “Three days later, I’m fighting for breath / Death sees me look out over the edge / A soft sweet whisper says ‘careful where you tread.’ Because in that final binge, I could hear my daughter saying: ‘just hang on one more moment, see if you can do it.’”
It’s only when he started to feel better that he could open up and write the songs he wanted. After coming out the other side, Chaplin began to write the album which details his return to the land of the living and features themes of repairing relationships and looking towards a brighter future. He started to work with Matt Hales from Aqualung who produced the album.
There are bleak yet beautiful moments on The Wave but it is a positive record about optimism and cherishing who you are and the life you have. The piano ballad Worthless Words recalls one critical night when Chaplin was forced to wake up to his problems. The track Hold On To Our Love is very powerful too as he’s pleading to his wife « Yeah we’ve gotta hold on to our love / Drag our bones from the dust / We have gotta hope, we’re strong enough / Whatever the world throws at us / We have gotta hold on to our love ». Another love song is first single Quicksand, which Chaplin wrote for his toddler daughter. Keane fans won’t be dismayed by the results. The Wave is full of pop songs that are lyrically acute and melodically rich. “It kind of reflects the therapeutic process I went through.” Tom said to the Telegraph.
Chaplin has repaired his relationships and says he’s in the best shape of his life — both physically and mentally. He will start a European tour in March.
He will be performing in Paris on March 17th at Le Trabendo, a fantastic musical concert venue located inside Le Parc de La Villette. The capacity is about 700 so it’s pretty intimate! Buy tickets here.
FUSAC gives you the opportunity to win 2 tickets for the concert via the link JEU CONCOURS !
Until Friday 10th March included.
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