Tom Hewitt lays his heart on the line with emotional indie pop album Homemade

Earlier this year, Tom Hewitt announced his Homemade EP with the release of his indie pop single Time. And now, the time has finally come – only it’s not an EP, but an entire album of songs that navigate the complexities of overthinking, self-doubt, and the bittersweet nature of fleeting relationships.

Sonically it’s quite a departure from his pop punk work with band Anchor Down, taking a more altpop, indie folk approach that wouldn’t be out of place on a bill with the likes of Johnny Nice Painter and Hotel Cola. This gentle, enveloping record is deeply intimate and introspective, and while each track has its own distinct sound and pace, there’s something of an invisible thread that weaves these records together, proving that Tom has done a wonderful job at honing his own signature style.

The 8-track album opens up with Don’t, easing you into the record with a real earnest energy. Throughout this album, we see Tom really lay his heart on the line as he opens up about his life’s worries and fears, telling The Leopheard: “The point is that I don’t know where I am in life yet. When you see people your own age succeeding and settled, it makes you feel like you’re way behind in life. Like they have it all figured out & know how their future will pan out, it seems daunting sometimes and it makes you feel the need to rush. But it’s also about accepting that I’m doing things differently and doing it my own way. I’m just running the race a little slower than others but it doesn’t matter.”

And while there’s undoubtedly a slower pace and sense of melancholy to Handmade as a whole, it’s by no means a ‘sad’ album, with Tom’s knack for blending upbeat melodies with downbeat lyrics on full display. Flight offers some of the best emotional indie soundscapes I’ve heard in a while, and Tom’s vocals are totally effortless, reminiscent of muses like Sam Fender. Particularly lovely are the parts where he opts for a higher register, which adds real depth and texture to his soaring instrumentals.

When Tom released Time back in April. Lee Barber said he was ‘taken immediately to the soft scent of fresh grass on a summer’s afternoon, a backbeat of innocence and ice creams’. It’s definitely got that summer vibe about it, sitting somewhere between Stereophonics’ Dakota and Sometimes, by Gerry Cinnamon, with gentle guitar lashes and an indie pop anthemic feel. 

Afterglow is a real standout track on the album, bringing with it a warm and nostalgic sound.  “It’s my favourite song to date that I have written,” Tom tells The Leopheard. “It’s about having good memories of someone who isn’t in your life anymore and you just want those memories to go away because they did you wrong.”

It’s actually one of the more fast-paced singles on the album, embracing a bedroom pop feel with its intimate production and emotionally charged lyrics, making for a radiant and cosy track you can really bask in. Interestingly, Tom decided to use a single microphone for recording, including the drums. It gives it a really organic and stripped back feel, while the subtle use of fuzz guitar to mimic synths creates a layer of depth to the track, enhancing its dreamy and reflective feel. 

The production on the whole album is top notch, with Tom teaming up with bandmate Jonny Price at Lower Lane Studios for the project. It was actually Jonny who encouraged Tom to make the solo album, and their synergy throughout the recording process has really paid off in the overall feel and sound. 

In Blue, Hewitt displays an innate ability to captivate listeners and have them really connect with his music. The lyrics provide a candid admission of his own struggles, blending seamlessly with the atmospheric instrumentals and vivid imagery that evoke a deep sense of sorrow. But this is contrasted beautifully by the bridge section, with bright synths and a catchy, chantable repetition of “I’m heading for the sun”, breathing positivity into the track, balancing the light with the dark.

Slowing is a soothing balm for the hurried soul, dipping into heavier choruses akin to Anchor Down, but having a lot of fun with pacing, while Runaway’s dynamic arrangement gives it a powerful full-band sound. Tom’s songwriting prowess in lyrics like “heavy round my eyes, when the devil’s inside” really stirring up emotions as he delivers each track with heartbreaking honesty. 

Finally, the self-titled track Homemade closes the record, and serves as a culmination of the themes explored throughout the album. It’s short and sweet, stripped back with an almost vintage quality giving it a really different space in the album, making it the perfect way to end the LP. 

Speaking on the album, Tom added: “I’ve been working on this album now for well over a year and I’ve had so many different song ideas that just didn’t make the cut. These songs are my pride and joy and I wouldn’t have put them out if I didn’t think they were my best work. I will always criticise my own music but I think that’s what being an artist is all about, to strive to do better and better each time. I do love these songs but I know eventually I can beat this record. For now this is me in its fullest and I hope it’s an emotional yet relatable journey for whoever will listen.”

Tom’s ability to convey deep, relatable emotions through his music is truly commendable, and Homemade is an album that will no doubt offer solace and understanding to those who may be running the race at their own pace. Give it a listen here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Something?