Geography by Tom Misch is the perfect record for a lovely summer’s evening. It delivers a warm grooviness which sounds like a blend of Jamiroquai, Bruno Mars, John Mayer with bits of hip hop thrown in for good measure. The record makes you want to get up and dance with a cocktail in hand.
The title makes sense when you see the track listing: the first three songs make reference to locations, ‘Before Paris’, ‘Lost in Paris’ and ‘South of the River’, in which he sings about his love of South London where he grew up and still lives today. The lyrics are simple but they would be better if they offered more imagery. The excellent and intricate instrumental solos, however, more than make up for it, the best being the piano solo in ‘Movie’ and the horn section in ‘Water Baby’.
Misch’s jazz background is evident from the jazz chords on the guitar and overall feel. But it’s not straight jazz, the genres are a combination of funk, soul, pop, and hip hop. ‘Disco’ feels fresh out of 1970’s disco scene and ‘It Runs Through Me’ has a bossa nova guitar part giving it a Brazilian samba feel. The production is clean, each instrument has its own space and it’s very hard to believe he recorded it all in his bedroom studio.
The fact he collaborated with a variety of artists is a strength of this album. The blend of voices and genres gives each song its own unique feel whilst still tied together by the production, instrumentation and lyrical themes.
All in all, Misch has demonstrated his versatile musical talent and his clever fusion of genres which makes him an interesting musician to keep an eye out for.
Image: Sonic PR